100 Movies to See Before You Die- “A Hard Day’s Night”

A Hard Day’s Night is a 1964 British film shot in a mockumentary style and chronicles the exploits of The Beatles over a couple of days in their lives. The film was both a critical and box office success. It was also nominated for two academy awards in the categories of Screenplay and Score. The film was released when The Beatles were at the height of the fan frenzy known at Beatlemania and the film captures a good bit of this in the travel scenes and concert footage. Today the film remains very popular and has made a number of best of lists. So does this mockumentary about one of the biggest bands in history deserve the label of classic?

Source (note- Wikipedia was down today to protest SOPA and PIPA so I used an archived page)

Should this film be considered a classic? Yes, it should. The film successfully combines a broad mix of film styles with some great physical comedy and a score that features some of The Beatles biggest early hits. The film plays out most like a comedy and the script is well written to take advantage of the often deadpan delivery of the four Beatles. One of the highlights of the film is Wilfrid Brambell who plays Paul’s fictional grandfather. He steals every scene he is in and is a perfect foil to the other actors on the screen. I don’t think it is one of the stronger films on the list but its mix of whimsical comedy and music combine to make it a definite classic.

Would I own this film? Unfortunately, I’m not a Beatles fan. I don’t know why but their music (both the early and late stuff) has never really grabbed me. Because of that, I’m sure I did not enjoy this film nearly as much as a personal who really likes Beatles music. Don’t get me wrong, there are some Beatles songs that I do enjoy, just as a whole they don’t have a big appeal to me. That said, I would not own this film. It’s a great one for any Beatles fan and even for those who like a good comedy but the real star of the movie is the music so it lessens the experience if you are not a big fan of the music.


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