2021 Blind Spot Series: A Hard Day's Night

 


What I knew going in: The music.

A hectic day in the life of the Beatles is made worse on top of everything else, they can't keep Paul McCartney's grandfather (Wilfred Brambill) in check.

Despite being a big fan of The Beatles' music for my entire adulthood, I've been dragging my feet at seeing their 5 movies. I assumed they were just extended videos and that really didn't entice me when I could just listen to their albums. But I knew I wanted to remedy that, so I chose this one to be my first foray into the Beatles movies.

And that's exactly what they are...extended music videos with a bit of plot. I'm quite surprised this was nominated for its screenplay to be honest. Was this very experimental at the time? I feel like I'm in a bit of an awkward place with this because movie wise, it's not great...but it's The Beatles! I love their music, and I'm happy to spend an hour with them running around aimlessly and just listening. 

Frankly, I needed this short time with the Beatles to unwind. Life has been very busy and stressful lately. I haven't had a lot of time to sit and watch movies, much less write reviews on them. I've been feeling a little discouraged, so I don't have a ton to say, but it did the trick. It's currently available to stream on HBO Max.

Recommended: Yes, if you're a Beatles fan.

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Well, everyone's entitled to two, aren't they?" - Paul McCartney

18 comments:

  1. I like this one quite a bit but it has never resonated with me as a true classic the way it has for many other folks. And I like the Beatles. I dunno.

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    1. I'll have to see their others but yeah, this one won't be a classic for me.

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  2. I have this film on Criterion DVD/Blu-Ray still waiting to be re-watched as I grew up on this film. I love it because it had this documentary-like feel where it just captures the moment at large. Even at a time when the Beatles were in their ascent.

    Yet, it's a film where you re-watch it. You'll find something new and if you're familiar with the Beatles. You will find a few things where you're like.... "oh, I know that person". The young blonde in the train early in the film sitting with the Beatles is Pattie Boyd aka the future Mrs. George Harrison aka the future Mrs. Eric Clapton.

    In the final performance sequence, if you look carefully. You will find a young Phil Collins.

    I've only seen 4 of the film feature films from the Beatles as Let It Be remains the one film that everyone is trying to find and watch. If I was to rank those films by the Beatles, it'd be this:

    1. Help!
    2. A Hard Day's Night
    3. Yellow Submarine
    4. Magical Mystery Tour.

    I love all 4 of them.

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    1. That's a good point. I can see this being a film where you find something new every time. I'll have to check out Help! It seems like that's a few people's favorite.

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    2. It is an extremely silly film about a cult that is trying to kill Ringo because of a ring he possesses as the Beatles are constantly being chased as they're trying to make new music whether it's in the Alps, an Army base, and the Bahamas. It's hilarious.

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  3. It was somewhat revolutionary when it came out. Not so much the format-there had been many rock & roll musicals, even songbook ones like this, before but this one managed to tap into the zeitgeist of the moment as it related to the Lads from Liverpool. Heaven knows it was a huge success, in adjusted numbers it cost about 4 million to make and pulled in 14!

    The plot is nonsensical but captures the inimitable charm of all four of the guys as they approached the full blush of their fame and made it clear why they stood so much higher than their contemporaries.

    As appealing as I've always found it I don't understand the screenplay nomination either. The boys and their music put it over, there isn't anything more to it. But when we're talking about The Beatles that's plenty. It's hard now to comprehend just how prevalent Beatlemania was at the time. I was really young at the time, not even in school yet and even I knew who they were, the furor over what at the time was considered their long hair!, their influence on the music, fashion and so much else.

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    1. I imagine. I'm not sure Beatlemania is something that will ever be recreated.

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  4. This one is an extended music video. Help! has an actual plot.

    Little piece of fun trivia. Paul's grandfather was played by a guy who was most famous for a television show of the time called Steptoe and Son (made in the U.S. as Sanford and Son). The tag line of the show was his son saying, "You dirty old man!" when he was frustrated with his father. Hence the "He's a clean old man" throughout this film.

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  5. Well hello, long time no see! Just leaving a little note to say I’m still visiting. Please pardon the cut and paste message – you may have noticed my absence on my own site, due to some health concerns. I’ve had a few surgeries lately, including one on my right arm, which makes almost all typing and computering impossible. I’m hoping to return to our regular programming soon, and until then, I am forever your friend, and fan. xo

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  6. Oh I saw this not too long ago as well and though I'm not a die-hard Beatles fan (my hubby is), I still enjoyed it. Fascinating stuff!

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  7. I have watched this a couple of times and it is like a music video but it’s done so well and love the old coot granddad. We are removed from the mania that occurred with The Beatles so it’s hard for us to comprehend how nuts it truly was. We can read about it, see the old videos but we are removed from it. I think this is the reason for its place in film history plus music videos don’t exist at this time. They, and others were filmed but no one called it a music video since this didn’t come in until the 80s.

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    1. That's a very good point, I didn't consider music videos not really being a thing yet. That makes perfect sense.

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  8. Watching this with my dad is what got me into the Beatles in junior high. I was obsessed! I still think it's a great movie with a lot of funny moments. Makes me want to listen to the album again.

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    1. I agree with wanting to listen to the music again! I love it.

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