A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

hard-days-night-poster 1964 movie beatles
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

The Beatles having fun and playing music

Story is rather flimsy

Movie Info

Movie Name:  A Hard Day’s Night

Studio:  Walter Shenson Films

Genre(s):  Musical/Comedy

Release Date(s):  July 6, 1964 (UK)/August 11, 1964 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

hard days night beatles make faces paul ringo george john train

Those Beatles are wacky!!!

Paul, John, George, and Ringo are the biggest thing to hit London!  While they head to London for a show, John, George, and Ringo meet Paul’s grandfather John (Wilfrid Brambell).  Unfortunately, John has plans for the Beatles and always likes to turn a profit.  Sowing dissent among the band, John could break up the Beatles and force them to meet their big televised performance.

Directed by Richard Lester, A Hard Day’s Night is a musical comedy that is a semi-documentary about the Beatles.  The film was released to positive reviews and was influential in its style.  The film was released in a remastered Criterion version (Criterion #711).

hard days night ringo selfie

Ringo…innovator. He’s master of the selfie (since no one likes Ringo)

Everyone wanted the Beatles and no one could get enough of them.  A Hard Day’s Night was a showcase for the group and allowed for a one off variety show type story and musical numbers.  A Hard Day’s Night shows the Beatles at their best while giving viewers a slice of life of the Beatles during their popular rise.

The story for the movie is relatively nonexistent.  The movie mostly just relies on short skits tied together by a basic story of a trip to London to perform.  The skits and story are interwoven by songs and performances by the Beatles (which of course was before music videos were a thing).  The movie’s style ended up being the format used by the Monkees in their show which has a similar style and look.

hard days night beatles concert i should have known better

We made the concert!!! Amazing!!!

The Beatles are by no means actors.  Many of the skits and jokes are almost like a Benny Hill Show goofball and don’t require a lot of acting.  Ringo perhaps gets the biggest role in the movie by having his “everyone hates Ringo” segment where he wanders London alone.  Wilfrid Brambell plays the comic relief as Paul’s grandfather and hams up all his scenes.

The real joy of A Hard Day’s Night is of course the music.  There is some repetition of songs throughout the short movie, but it doesn’t even seem to matter.  The Beatles seem to be enjoying themselves and stories of squabbles and arguments can’t be seen here.  It is light and fun.

A Hard Day’s Night is a classic and shows one of the greatest bands when they were young and having fun.  If you love the Beatles, you’ll love A Hard Day’s Night…it isn’t always the best acting or storytelling, but it is purely the Beatles.  It leaves you dreaming of 1964 and a lighter time.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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