Run time: 87 mins
In Theaters: Monday 6th July 1964
Box Office USA: $0.5M
Box Office Worldwide: $1M
Budget: $500 thousand
Distributed by: Miramax
Production compaines: Proscenium Films, Walter Shenson Films, Maljack Productions
Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Fresh: 100 Rotten: 1
IMDB: 7.7 / 10
Director: Richard Lester
Producer: Walter Shenson
Screenwriter: Alun Owen
Starring: John Lennon as himself, Paul McCartney as himself, George Harrison as himself, Ringo Starr as himself, Wilfrid Brambell as Grandfather, Norman Rossington as Norm, John Junkin as Shake, Victor Spinetti as T.V. director, Anna Quayle as Millie, Deryck Guyler as Police Inspector
But don't do it! Miss the narrative (sketchy as it may be) and the visuals (jerky as they are) and you'll be missing one of the funniest and most unique movies ever made. Shot before The Beatles had hit it big in America, the movie ostensibly follows a day in the life of the Fab Four, as they travel to a TV appearance and an evening concert and experience various misadventures along the way.
There is of course little substance to their day trip -- it all amounts to running from fans, attending parties, and losing Ringo (all with Paul's grandfather (actually Wilfrid Brambell) in tow. But along the way the little moments make their trip worthwhile. At a party, one woman asks George, "What do you call that hairstyle you're wearing?" The answer: "Arthur." The deadpan humor and non-sequiturs are delivered with such dry perfection you often find yourself rewinding to see if you really heard what you think you did. (And you did.)
And of course there's the music. With unforgettable classics like "If I Fell," "Tell Me Why," and "And I Love Her," you'll sing along for the full 90 minutes. But it's not just a light comedy and a great musical, it's also a telling look into the music scene of the 1960s and the hysteria generated by the band's popularity. The shots of the screaming girls and fainting groupies are often imitated, but A Hard Day's Night has the originals.
The new DVD features a full disc of present-day interviews with just about everyone involved in the movie -- except the surviving members of the band, sadly. If you've ever wonded what the hairdresser, assistant editor, and deleted cast members thought about working on this movie, well, here's your answer. Highly recommended.