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A Hard Day's Night (1964)

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Over two "typical" days in the life of The Beatles, the boys struggle to keep themselves and Paul McCartney's mischievous grandfather in check while preparing for a live television performance.

Director:

Richard Lester

Writer:

Alun Owen (original screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
The Beatles ... The Beatles
John Lennon ... John
Paul McCartney ... Paul
George Harrison ... George
Ringo Starr ... Ringo
Wilfrid Brambell ... Grandfather
Norman Rossington ... Norm
John Junkin ... Shake
Victor Spinetti ... T.V. Director
Anna Quayle ... Millie
Deryck Guyler ... Police Inspector
Richard Vernon ... Man on train
Edward Malin Edward Malin ... Hotel Waiter (as Eddie Malin)
Robin Ray Robin Ray ... T.V. Floor Manager
Lionel Blair ... T.V. Choreographer
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Storyline

The Beatles--the world's most famous rock and roll band--travel from Liverpool to London to perform in a television broadcast. Along the way they must rescue Paul's unconventional grandfather from various misadventures and drummer Ringo goes missing just before the crucial concert. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Beatles starring in their first full-length, hilarious action-packed film ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music | Musical

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

7 July 1964 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Quatre garçons dans le vent See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$560,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$56,805, 7 February 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,780,024
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Alun Owen claimed that the word "grotty" was a word used in Liverpool to mean "grotesque", but The Beatles never heard it before and believed Owen made it up. It subsequently passed into general usage and linguists certainly cite The Beatles as the popularizers of the word in the early 1960s and trace its origins to Liverpool. See more »

Goofs

The secretary's legs are uncrossed/crossed as she sits on the edge of her boss' desk. See more »

Quotes

George: Sorry we hurt your field, mister.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are superimposed over the action. The Beatles are running from a mob of fans whilst the title track plays. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the television show sequence, the song "You Can't Do That" was cut from the original film. In the 30th anniversary special on the making of the film, the cut scene featuring the song is shown after the special. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wanna Be Your Man
(1963) (uncredited)
Written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon
Performed by The Beatles
Published by Capitol Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Solid gold record of the Liverpool miracles at the point of making pop history.
8 April 2004 | by Pedro_HSee all my reviews

The Beatles travel down from Liverpool to record a TV show.

If I was to meet Richard Lester I would shake his hand and thank him for recording the Beatles during the middle part of their career when they could entertain but hadn't yet shot off in to outer space. Without this we would have a piece missing from their history - and lets be frank - our history. They changed the world and all they had to change it with were electric guitars and their personalities!

The script is clever in that it showcases the personalities of the group without asking them to do much acting. Wilfred Brambell tags along to give comedy relief and the whole thing fits in plenty of songs that are good - but not as good as what soon followed. They are still tied to the Northern dance halls.

I have always thought that if they had a died in a car crash at this point they would be a mystery to the modern audience - hugely popular at the time - but not particularly stand-out from the other bands around. Like the way we regard Charlie Chaplin or Mary Pickford - both incredibly famous in their prime - but little regarded today.

Whether you like to admit it or not there are three geniuses at work and Ringo Starr. So I guess that it is fitting that Ringo comes across the best of the group: Down-to-earth, chatty, witty and willing to talk to anyone. Even the kids down by the river. John Lennon had a comic wit that could have given him another career had his music not been up to scratch. Talk about being master of the witty comeback.

Anyone watching this film will see London as it really was at the time. Not the swinging sixties that everyone pretends it was. Grubby shops, unpainted windows that look about to fall out of their frames, empty streets bar a few beat up cars.

I guess you could say this is the perfect record of Beatlemania: The driving beat songs (cranked out even quicker on stage), the backstage sieges, the ping-pong put downs that is the hallmark of English humour, the screaming that overpowered the performance. Enjoyable at the time (as light entertainment) it becomes an important historical document now and every generation should see it. Your pop culture education depends on it.


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