Tag Archive | Richard Lester

The Beatles A Hard Day’s Night Gets 50th Anniversary Restoration and Re-Release!

A Hard Days Night One Sheet
Photo By Gail

Do you love The Beatles? I sure do. I remember watching the band’s first film, A Hard Day’s Night, for the first time on a black & white TV set tucked way in a family room that we called The Den, and being totally enraptured by The Beatles charming shenanigans and totally amazing songs. I was probably five years old at the time, and by then the film was two years past its 1964 release date. Since that day, I’ve seen A Hard Day’s Night countless times on TV — either broadcast or via recorded media– but I’d never had the chance to see it on a Big Screen until Criterion hosted a press screening last month to promote the upcoming release of the newly restored 50th Anniversary edition of the film. Let me tell you, it is really something special, and sitting there in the dark theater with images of John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr all larger than life, took me right back to being that little five year old girl who was (and still is) just completely nuts about The Beatles.

Hard Days Night Ticket Stub
This and Image Below Courtesy of Rogert Ebert Dot Com

Directed by the legendary Richard Lester and released amid the initial global frenzy of Beatlemania, A Hard Day’s Night follows the fab four through a fictionalized ‘typical day’ of running from hoards of crazed fans, traveling by train, hanging out in their hotel room, meeting the press, cracking wise, filming a live TV show and, finally, performing for a capacity crowd of those same of hysterical fans who simply will not stop screaming. There are couple fun subplots such as a hilarious running joke about Paul’s Grandfather (Played brilliantly by Wilfrid Brambell, who was actually on 50 years old when he made A Hard Day’s Night) and a sweet interlude where a dejected Ringo runs off to have his own brief misadventure. The film is just fantastic and features a dozen original Beatles songs that still sound better than any pop music released in the past 20 years or more. I could watch it over and over again.

A Hard Day’s Night returns to theaters on July 4th, 2014 (check local listings for showings your area), but this past week saw the release of Criterion Collection’s DVD/Blu-Ray edition of the film, featuring a new 4K digital restoration approved by Richard Lester with three audio options. Up to Criterion’s usual high standards, the package also contains a booklet with an essay by critic Howard Hampton and a number of extras; some of these are vintage documentaries about the film, but two of the best are new: an interview with author Mark Lewisohn tracing The Beatles’ history up to A Hard Day’s Night, and “Anatomy of a Style,” an astute analysis of Lester’s and editor John Jympson’s techniques. This collection is must-own for all Beatles fans.

Hard Days Night Movie Poster

About the video and audio restoration: Using the latest in digital restoration technology, the Criterion Collection was able to restore A Hard Day’s Night from the 35 mm original camera negative, which, though incomplete, was in excellent condition. The missing material was taken from two original interpositives. The image was scanned in 4K resolution on a Scanity film scanner to retain the character of the film’s original printing stock without any generational loss, and the raw data was carefully treated using a variety of digital tools to remove dirt, scratches, flicker and other damage. The final result was approved by director Richard Lester, and is in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.75:1. Stereo Audio Restoration and 5.1 Surround sound were supervised by sound producer Giles Martin (son of Beatles producer George Martin), with the soundtrack and songs remixed at Abbey Road Studios and Twickenham Studios by Martin and Sam Okell.

I will leave you with some fun A Hard Day’s Night Trivia! Enjoy!

John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song “A Hard Day’s Night” in one night, basing the title on a Ringo-ism.

The soundtrack to A Hard Day’s Night was the band’s first record not to include any cover songs, and is also the only all-Lennon-McCartney LP in their catalog.

The film was titled Yeah Yeah Yeah in Germany, Tutti per uno (All for One) in Italy, Quatre garçons dans le vent (Four Boys in the Wind) in France, Yeah! Yeah! Tässä tulemme! (Yeah! Yeah! Here We Come!) in Finland, and Os reis do Iê-Iê-Iê (The Kings of Yeah-Yeah-Yeah) in Brazil.

A thirteen-year-old Phil Collins is an extra in the Scala Theatre scene.

Charlotte Rampling is one of the dancers in the nightclub scene, watching her then boyfriend Jeremy Lloyd (also in Help!) trade moves with Ringo on the dance floor.

The characters of Norm and Shake were based on the Beatles’ personal assistant Neil Aspinall (Norm) and road manager Mal Evans (Shake).

During the performance of “Tell Me Why,” director Richard Lester can be seen briefly toward the end of the song, walking by the front of the stage.

The words The Beatles are never spoken throughout the course of the movie.

A Hard Day’s Night competed for two Academy Awards, losing in both categories: best screenplay (Alun Owen) and best adapted score (George Martin). None of The Beatles’ original songs were nominated.

Watch the Trailer Below:

Save

Advertisements

The Beatles’ Help! Digitally Restored 1965 Film Now on iTunes!

HELP Header  

London – June 25, 2013The Beatles’ second feature film, 1965’s Help!, makes its worldwide digital release debut today, exclusively on the iTunes Store (www.iTunes.com/TheBeatles). The digitally restored film and 5.1 soundtrack features iTunes Extras including a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, memories of the cast and crew, an in-depth look at the restoration process, an outtake scene, original theatrical trailers and radio spots and detailed art, including a companion piece with an introduction by the film’s director, Richard Lester and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese.

Help Beatles Perform B&W

Help!’s debut on the iTunes Store and Blu-ray follows the 2012 release of The Beatles’ digitally restored Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour feature films on iTunes, Blu-ray and DVD with extensive extras. Help!’s restoration for its 2007 DVD debut wowed viewers, earning five-times platinum sales in the U.S. and praise from a broad range of top media outlets around the world, including USA Today heralding the DVD as “a grand re-release,” The Guardian’s appreciation of the film’s director, Richard Lester, saying “Lester matches The Beatles’ ‘star’ power with smart, colourful visuals and casual surrealism,” The Los Angeles Times’ restoration rave: “With dynamic compression that was standard in the 1960s lifted for the digital age, the full range of the group’s musicality comes through – it’s like several coats of dust have been cleaned off an old master’s painting,” and four-star reviews from Rolling Stone and MOJO with the latter saying, “They really don’t make them like this anymore.”

Help Beatles in Austria

Directed by Richard Lester, who also directed the band’s debut feature film, 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night, Help! follows The Beatles as they become passive recipients of an outside plot that revolves around Ringo’s possession of a sacrificial ring, which he cannot remove from his finger. As a result, he and his bandmates John, Paul and George are chased from London to the Austrian Alps and the Bahamas by religious cult members, a mad scientist and the London police.

Help Beatles on the Beach

In addition to starring The Beatles, Help! boasts a witty script, a great cast of British character actors, and classic Beatles songs “Help!,” “You’re Going To Lose That Girl,” “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” “Ticket To Ride,” “I Need You,” “The Night Before,” and “Another Girl.”

Help!’s iTunes digital download pairs the digitally restored original film with these iTunes Extras:

• “The Beatles in Help!” – a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film with Richard Lester, the cast and crew, including exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of The Beatles on-set.
• “A Missing Scene” – a film outtake, featuring Wendy Richard
• “The Restoration of Help!” – an in-depth look at the restoration process
• “Memories of Help!” – the cast and crew reminisce
• 1965 Theatrical Trailers – two original U.S. trailers and one original Spanish trailer
• 1965 U.S. Radio Spots (hidden in menus)

http://www.thebeatles.com

CAST
The Beatles:
John………..………………………………………………………..John Lennon
Paul………………………………………………………………Paul McCartney
George……….…………………………………………………George Harrison
Ringo……….…………………………………………………………Ringo Starr
Clang………………………………………………………………….Leo McKern
Ahme…………………………………………………………………Eleanor Bron
Foot…………………………………………………………….Victor Spinetti
Algernon…………………………………………………………Roy Kinnear
Superintendent……………………………………………..Patrick Cargill
Bhuta………………………………………………………………John Bluthal
Jeweller………………………………………………………………Peter Copley
Doorman…………………………………………………………………Alfie Bass
Abdul…………………………………………………………..…Warren Mitchell
Lawnmower…………………………………………………………Bruce Lacey
Cross channel swimmer……………………………………………Mal Evans
Women in street…………………Dandy Nichols and Gretchen Franklin
PRODUCTION
Director ……………………………………………………………Richard Lester
Producer …………………………………………………………Walter Shenson
Screenplay…………………………………..Marc Behm and Charles Wood
Story by………………………………………………………………..Marc Behm
Director of Photography…………………………………………David Watkin
Production Manager……………………………………………….John Pellatt
Art Director………………………………………………………Raymond Simm
Colour Consultant and Titles…………………………………Robert Freeman
Costume Designer…………………………………………………….Julie Harris
Musical Director………………………………………………………Ken Thorne
Songs composed by…………………..John Lennon and Paul McCartney and George Harrison
Songs performed by…………………………………………………The Beatles
Songs produced by……………………………………………..George Martin