As important in the Beatles' oeuvre as any of their classic albums, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT was also as influential to '60s cinema as any entry from the French New Wave. It is many things to many observers: an innovative work of filmmaking, a joyous and rowdy rock-and-roll film, a hilarious comedy filled with quotable one-liners, an insightful portrait of its time that is both accurate and satirical, and a splendid showcase for the Beatles. As with many great films, it exists in a world of its own, its boundaries defined by the excesses of Beatlemania. Its stark black-and-white photography and use of hand-held cameras lend the film an aura of hyper-realism, yet the touches of absurd and bizarre humor seem perfectly consistent with the hip-and-cheeky tone established by Lester and the lads from Liverpool. If you're not a Beatles fan, you'll enjoy it regardless. If you are a Beatles fan, it's as essential as oxygen. - JL
QUOTE AND MAKE IT A
"What do you call that hairstyle?"