Screening of The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night at The Alex Theatre
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The last date listed for A Hard Day's Night was Saturday May 6, 2006 / 2:00pm.
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Celebrity guest Alan Cumming -- best known for his award-winning turns in Cabaret and The Good Wife… More
A Hard Day’s Night was shot for United Artists using a cinema verite style in black and white and produced over a period of 16 weeks in the spring of 1964. The film also used the innovative technique of cutting the images to the beat of the music, and because of this many see the film as playing a major role in development of modern music videos, especially the “Can’t Buy Me Love” segment, which featured creative camera work, and the band running and jumping around in a field.
Unlike the standard rock and roll movies of the early 1960s, which tended to lack a plot, A Hard Day’s Night had a solid, well-written script at the insistence of The Beatles and manager Brian Epstein. Screenwriter Alun Owen was chosen because they were familiar with his play No Trams to Lime Street, and Owen had a knack for Liverpudlian dialogue.
The film chronicles in a mock documentary-style The Beatles arriving at a theatre, rehearsing, and finally performing in a television special. Owen spent several days with the group, who told him their lives were like “a room and a car and a room and a car and a room and car”. He realised by 1964 The Beatles were prisoners of their own fame, and their schedule of performances and studio work by that time was extremely punishing, and wrote it into the script. As such the film is one of the best depictions of Beatlemania. In various places, The Beatles comment cheekily on their own fame: for instance, at one point a fan takes John Lennon for John Lennon; he demurs, saying his face isn’t quite right. The fan eventually agrees.
The film’s director, Richard Lester, also directed The Beatles’ 1965 film, Help! and How I Won the War (1967), starring John Lennon. He went on to direct several popular motion pictures of the 1970s and 1980s, including The Three Musketeers and Superman II.