Richard Lester

T. it. Tutti per uno. Scen.: Alun Owen. F.: Gilbert Taylor. M.: John Jympson. Scgf.: Ray Simm. Mus.: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Martin. Int.: John Lennon (John), Paul McCartney (Paul), Ringo Starr (Ringo), George Harrison (George), Norman Rossington (Norm), Anna Quayle (Millie), Victor Spinetti (dirigente televisivo), Wilfrid Brambell (nonno), Deryck Guyler (ispettore di polizia), Phil Collins (uno dei fan). Prod.: Proscenium Films, Walter Shenson Films DCP. D.: 87’. Bn. 

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Seeing A Hard Day’s Night in a neighborhood theater – there were still neighborhood theaters, and neighborhoods, back then – was a fascinating experience, and a lot of fun. In the first few weeks of the film’s run, the house was dominated by the hard-core screamers. Gradually, hysteria and overdrawn allowances depleted the theaters of these Beatlemaniacs, and my crowd – the Beatlephiles, just as enthusiastic but cooler – took over. If we went back again and again, it was first to comprehend, and then to savor, the witty fourplay of Alun Owen’s script and the highspirited camerabatics of that expatriate American, Richard Lester.

A Hard Day’s Night today retains its vigor, its good humor, its Midlands courtliness and easy grace. We can still appreciate Lester’s guiding hand on his stars, like an indulgent older brother, and recognize in its least self-conscious form the ‘sprung rhythm’ of his lm tempo (when the comic pace is broken by a lingering shot of a bemused or humiliated bit player). We can also find in the lm what we responded to then: its perfect distillation of a moment when, for a lot of us, it felt good to be young. e loss of that moment, and that youth, may make us melancholy when we watch A Hard Day’s Night today, especially alone. We’ve aged, and it hasn’t. Looking at the film a decade later, we realize it was a glorious rite of passage-to nowhere.

Richard Corliss, “Film Comment”, May-June 1974

It can be argued that the fragmented editing style is basically an outgrowth of the French New Wave film (just as it can be argued that John Lennon here is a British version of Jean-Paul Belmondo – and he is), but there are two very pertinent differences: attitude and accessibility. Lester’s lm applies the approach in its own way and in a much more upbeat trame of mind. Plus, if we are realistic, the impact and influence of an English language film with the Beatles is far more profound in general in the U.S. and Britain than all the French New Wave films put together.

Ken Hanke, “Films in Review”, February 1993

Copy From

The original negative was scanned in 4K at Sony Colorworks and the restoration was curated by Criterion