movie film review | chris tookey

Hard Day's Night

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  Hard Day's Night Review
Tookey's Rating
10 /10
Average Rating
8.79 /10
John ............. John Lennon , Paul ............. Paul McCartney , George ........... George Harrison
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Directed by: Richard Lester
Written by: Alun Owen

Released: 1964
Origin: GB
Length: 85


36 hours in the life of a very successful group.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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The crashing guitar chord that opens A Hard Day's Night remains one of the most stirring sounds in music, and this is a comedy which captures better than any other the claustrophobia and insanity of becoming a pop celebrity.

Dick Lester's direction, endlessly eclectic and with a sense of humour that mingles the Goons with the Marx brothers, has the same semi-improvised, homespun energy associated with the French New Wave at its best, without the slightest element of Gallic pretension. His influence on pop videos can still be felt.

The swiftly composed songs are wonderfully melodic; in its idiosyncratic way, this must rank as one of the great film musicals of all time.

Lester's flashy, gimmicky camera-work (the cinematographer was Gilbert Taylor) and scriptwriter Alun Owen's image-building of the Fab Four as the boys next door still works like a dream: this is a dream of the Sixties as they never were, but as we would have liked them to have been.

George Martin was nominated for an Oscar, but oddly none of the songs was. The film was shot in seven weeks, for around half a million dollars; it made a handsome profit.
Note on censorship: In Portugal, teenagers under 17 were forbidden from seeing the film. The censor also ordered cuts.
"We're not very good, but we had a good producer."
(Paul McCartney to Princess Margaret at the London premiere)

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