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Howard Da Silva
Thirty years after A Hard Day's Night, its producer, director, writer and others describe its making. United Artists Records came to Walter Shenson, asking him to produce a movie so UA could issue a soundtrack album. Shenson signed Lester to direct, and they got the Beatles to agree to star. Shenson sent Owen to Dublin to spend time with the Fab Four; from this came a script built around their being prisoners of their own success. Phil Collins, himself an extra on A Hard Day's Night, hosts this examination of a seminal film: what was ad-libbed, why was it a hit, what was its influence on other movies, and how did it define the way the public viewed each Beatle for years to come? Written by
Astonishingly, it's been 41 years since "A Hard Day's Night" first appeared in theaters. The film itself is still fresh, funny, and delightful. This documentary reunites many of the people originally involved in the film's production, including director Richard Lester, producer Walter Shenson, writer Alun Owen, and many of the cast members. The film does stoop to the obvious on occasion, but the interviews and reminiscences are enjoyable for anyone who remembers 1964 and Beatlemania.
The best moments belong to Shenson, who describes the title tune's genesis in great detail, and Lester, who recalls working with the Beatles during the film's production. Lots of candid film taken while shooting is also enjoyable for fans of the Fab Four. My only complaint is the obvious padding of the film by the inclusion of extraneous interviews (why on earth is Mickey Dolenz in this film?). Still a great way to stroll down memory lane to 1964 again.
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