‘I’d probably have to say… The Best of the Beatles.’ – Alan Partridge
Everyone has a blind spot in their film history. A film or collection of films they just never got round to. I have quite a few but one of the main omissions is all The Beatles films. Deciding this needs to be addressed I sat down to watch the Fab Four’s first foray into film A Hard Day’s Night.
It turns out I have seen nearly all of A Hard Day’s Night before but in archive clips from other documentaries and films. Put together as a whole it still doesn’t make much sense as Paul McCartney rambles on about his clean Granddad and Ringo Starr describes himself as a mocker.
Despite on the surface appearing to be a whole lot of surrealist nonsense, A Hard Day’s Night is funny and endearing throughout and director Richard Lester is credited with pretty much inventing the music video with a series of memorable musical set pieces. It helps of course that the music is brilliant and captures a band hitting their stride right in the middle of Beatlemania.
The screenplay won an Oscar and all of the Beatles looking comfortable on camera and playing an exaggerated version of themselves leads to an enjoyable watch and it is genuinely joyous to see such camaraderie between the band when considering the acrimonious break up that was forthcoming just a few years later. A Hard Day’s Night has become almost as beloved as the album from which it is named and it is vital viewing for any Beatles fan.