The film debut of the Beatles is back for an extended run at BFI Southbank. Full details here.
Though A Hard Day’s Night was initially conceived merely as a vehicle to exploit the staggering success of the Fab Four, Richard Lester’s kinetic direction – partly influenced by the French New Wave – and Alun Owen’s witty, Oscar®-nominated script ensure that the film endures as a scintillating blend of marvellous music and gently satirical comedy. Made at the peak of Beatlemania, it chronicles a couple of days in the life of the band as they leave Liverpool for London to perform on a TV special; prisoners of their own celebrity, beset by hysterical fans, clueless hacks, uncool toffs, a perpetually fretful manager and the regrettable presence of Paul’s ‘clean’ but meddling grandfather (the great Wilfrid Brambell), all they want is some time for themselves... The dry Scouse humour is spot-on (‘I fought the war for your sort’ – ‘I bet you’re sorry you won!’), the cameos are many and delightful, and John, Paul, George and Ringo ooze youthful irreverence and utterly unforced charm. A joy.
Here (and above) are the original trailers.