A HARD DAY'S NIGHT

(1964)
With John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Wilfred Brambell, Norman Rossington, John Junkin, Victor Spinetti, Anna Quayle
Directed by Richard Lester
Black and White
Reviewed by JL

A Hard Day's Night     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

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