A Hard Day's Night (Richard Lester, 1964)

What's it about? The Beatles' first movie, a freewheeling, chaotic sort of affair, in which the fresh-faced cheeky chappies run around a lot, pausing periodically to belt out a tune or two, then run around again. A 50th anniversary re-release took place in July 2014.


Is it any good? Well, it inspired me to write this song. Let's sing!

It's been a hard day's night, and I'd been working like a dog
But I watched A Hard Day's Night, instead of sleeping like a log
And I thought it okay, a fun end to the day
It made me feel alright

McCartney overacts a lot, and George seems frozen with fear
And Lennon acts like a cock, you'll not be too surprised to hear
But Ringo Starr is too cool, he doesn't act like a tool
He made me feel OK

When they're singing, everything seems to be right
When they're not, everything seems a bit slight, slight, yeah

It's been a hard day's night, and I'd been working like a dog
But I watched A Hard Day's Night, instead of sleeping like a log
Not as good as the Monkees, but then nothing is ees
It made me feel alright

Yeah, captures Beatlemania at its height
It's a mostly fun sight
It made me feel alright

REPEAT TO FADE


I don't trust you. What do others think? Regarded as a true time-capsule of a movie, capturing the Fab Four as fresh young men with the world at their feet, before the extraordinary fame, drugs, affairs and in-fighting began, and before Yoko Ono stuck her beak in. It has been praised for basically inventing the modern pop video - director Lester was awarded an MTV award in 1984 declaring him 'Father of the Music Video'. Stylistically, it borrowed many artistic elements from the French New Wave and made them mainstream. Musically, it was the first time anyone had heard Harrison playing those distinctive sounds on his Rickenbecker 12-string guitar, which sent a whole bunch of musicians (Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys etc) reeling away from the cinema to try and recreate the sound. And obviously it launched a whole bunch of new Beatles songs on an adoring public, including the phenomenally catchy title song. It's the film where George met Pattie Boyd (who had a small role as a school girl), the girl who would go on to be 'Layla' in the famous love triangle with Eric Clapton. Finally, as Roger Ebert observed, there was more than a few young men who left the theatre and didn't cut their hair again until the 70s in an effort to cultivate a mop-top. I guess it's safe to say it was pretty influential, even if it is a bit all over the place.

What does the Fonz think? I am the Walrus.

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