Seeing as how this weekend’s release of One Direction: This is Us will probably be the best newcomer for the weekend, I figure I should go back and take a look at the one that started it all.
Filmed at the height of Beatlemania, A Hard Day’s Night captures a fictionalized adventure with the Beatles as they prepare for a televised performance. Along the way, Paul’s grandfather goes missing at a casino, fans chase them, and the Beatles perform.
What makes this different than other band movies? It’s one thing to see the latest boy band with younger members joke around and have fun. It’s another to see older band members act the same way and get away with it. Another factor is the band’s legacy. What’s popular today may become a flash in the pan, tomorrow’s fodder for secondhand shops where they will sit on the clearance shelf for months on end. But with the Beatles, you get something that people of every age still listen to today and will for decades to come.
What’s great about this is that there are moments without a soundtrack. This allows the dialogue to be heard better and that we can understand what’s going on without a musical cue to prompt our emotions. The black and white photography and subtle editing are easy on the eyes and allow the action to be seen and understood. John’s bathtub scene is quite hilarious, something that cannot be matched with any band member today. The plot is more than just “Here’s the band performing at one venue.” Other characters get into the mix and let most of the scenes take place in something other than a studio.
Now, I may watch the new Morgan Spurlock movie just for his name alone and to see how or why he chose One Direction as his next subject. But for something that lasts, watch A Hard Day’s Night instead.
1001 MYMSBYD selection