Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

 

Year: 1964
Country: England
Run Time: 87 minutes

The Beatles would have happened without A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (and the follow-up "Help!"), and the 1960s might even have happened without the Beatles. But it wouldn't have been the same. Now on its 35th anniversary the CIFF presents John, Paul, George and Ringo in their prime, in a remastered version of the rock musical that's been compared to everything from "Citizen Kane" (for influence) to the Marx Brothers (for laughter). Shot as a pseudo-documentary with a cinema-verit? ease and affectlessness, the freewheeling camera follows the fresh lads from Liverpool, exasperating their Brian Epstein-styled manager as they make a fraught British TV appearance. Director Richard Lester's mandate was simply to shoot a low-budget quickie using the Fab Four in seven weeks. What he did was to capture the exhilarating instant when a whole generation growing up in the postwar U.K. rediscovered confidence and joie de vivre - epitomized by the Beatles and their immortal music. Proclaimed the first music video, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT was nominated for the Best Original Score in the 1964 Academy Awards; it also received a nomination for Best Story and Screenplay. The 35th anniversary re-release has a few added scenes, a fully restored negative and a digitally restored soundtrack - to fully convey the songwriting genius of the Lads from Liverpool with "Tell Me Why," "I Should Have Known Better," "I'm Happy Just to Dance With You," "This Boy," "Can't Buy Me Love," and, of course, the title track. Recently someone passed on to us a yellowed newspaper clipping from a 1966 column in the News Herald about a Beatles concert appearance at Shea Stadium, where 50, 000 screaming fans greeted "four tiny, pale-suited boys" on a distant stage. "The incredible thing about the Beatles is that they deserve it," the columnist wrote. "Creators of a popular music of new excellence, they have managed to communicate rare wit, humor, honesty and an irresistible degree of personal charm . . . There has never been anything like them." Captured on film in A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, that assessment remains true, now and forever.

Screenplay
Alun Owen

Director
Richard Lester

Producer
Walter Shenson

Cinematography
Gilbert Taylor

Editing
John Jympson

Principal Cast
John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Wilfrid Brambell, Norman Rossington, Anna Quayle.

Print Source
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