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A Hard Day's Night [VHS] [1964]

John Lennon , Paul McCartney , Richard Lester    Universal, suitable for all   VHS Tape
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
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A Hard Day's Night [VHS] [1964] + The Beatles - Help! - Plus Unseen Footage [1965] [VHS]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, The Beatles
  • Directors: Richard Lester
  • Writers: Alun Owen
  • Producers: David V. Picker, Denis O'Dell, Walter Shenson
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English, German
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Buena Vista
  • VHS Release Date: 7 May 2001
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JD75
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,127 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

A Hard Day's Night may have been The Beatles' first big-screen experience but, as they had become the biggest band in the world by the time of its production, the Moptops were able to ensure it was a bit different from the band-movie norm. "We'd made it clear that we weren't interested in being stuck in one of those nobody-understands-our-music plots," John Lennon would later recall. "The kind of thing where we'd just pop up a couple of times between the action, all smiles and clean shirts, to sing our latest record. Never mind all your pals, how could we have faced each other if we had allowed ourselves to be involved in that kind of movie?"

Instead the quartet recruited a young director named Richard Lester--who had previously worked with the Fab Four's beloved Goons--to make a movie that followed them as they enjoyed and endured the phenomenon that was Beatlemania. "The film wrote itself right in front of our eyes," says Lester. "We just took the dirty bits and cut them out." The result is a frenetic hour and a half inside The Beatles' personal space as they engage in all manner of surreal hi-jinks--more often than not involving Paul's "grandfather" (played by Steptoe and Son's Wilfrid Brambell) while dodging the ever-present horde of screaming fans. Although the result now seems a little dated, there remains an almost heart-breakingly good-natured aura around the foursome's naïve performances while few could argue about the quality of a soundtrack that includes "Can't Buy Me Love", "And I Love Her" and "A Hard Day's Night" itself, to name but a few. Whether the film would have been quite so successful if Lester had followed McCartney's suggestion and called it "Oh, What A Lovely Wart!" will, sadly, never be known. --Clark Collis

Product Description

The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) head for London to appear on television, accompanied by their manager and Paul's grandfather (Wilfrid Brambell). Grandad gets into some trouble at a casino and then convinces Ringo to strike out on his own, but the boys find him just in time to play the big concert. Richard Lester's freewheeling directorial style set the tone for the Swinging Sixties.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece Film, Terribly Weak Extras 26 July 2006
"A Hard Day's Night" is, and always will be, one of the greatest films ever made. Its irreverent, original comedy ("He's very clean") has never been matched. The Beatles let their natural charisma and wit carry them through and, in 1964, that would have been enough if they just stood still for 90 minutes. Director Dick Lester was the perfect choice: he understood what to do, providing the viewer with the feeling of suffocation that the Beatles had to endure due to their fans and the sheer relief that they feel as they burst out of the fire escape into a field where nobody knows they are ("We're out!").

The comic lines still hold out today, a rare feat for a forty year old film. Indeed, even the slapstick parts hold out thanks to the Beatles's knowing acting. Many critics have compared the Fab Four to the Marx Bros. Fair enough, but I bet Lennon would have loved to have been as sneering as Groucho in the film. Still, he carries off his role with aplomb, especially the parts when he does get to be a cheeky rascal (note his snorting the Coke bottle on the train) and the ad libs (if they are ad libs) are fantastic ("Alright Noddy?"). Ringo is as natural as critics made out: he belonged on screen, the only Fab that seemed to truly ignore the cameras. George, too, carries his laconic, cool style seeing the whole thing as a bit of a laugh ("Well, I'll have a bash"). Indeed, Macca is not actually as bad as people make out. He tries too hard but, when he lets go, is genuinely pretty good: "I'd ask you myself, only I'm shy".

Therefore, the film is brilliant. But the DVD is not, hence the four stars. The fact is, the extras look as if they have been made for a 60+ pensioner audience. Every single one is of somebody talking.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This was it. A debut for the Beatles on the big screen. The result. Pure genius. Films don't get better than this with its original wit and humour its a delight from start to end. The fab four display a natural talent for the camera especially Starr who steals the show, but also Lennon who's many ad libs are all there to be witnessed.
Director Dick Lester had impressed before (Running, Jumping, Standing Still film) and lost his way after (Superman 3!!!)but this film was the peak of his career, his direction nothing short of perfection.
Highlights include the hotel room scenes, Ringo's lonely scenes, and even a concert at the end with fab songs. But for me the best parts are on the train with the Fab Four encountering and causing havoc!!! There's also plenty of songs all the way through to keep you satisfied such as 'If I Fell' and 'I Should Have Known Better'.
Abe Lincoln once said something like "A day without a laugh is a day lost". If that's true, then A Hard Day's Night adds an extra day to the year each time you watch it. For brilliant laughs and an all round great time, watch it. Then watch it again. Until you become addicted to its charm. Comedy at its best.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Ho ho, it's a Laugh A Line with Lennon' 21 Dec 2002
Although the Beatles themselves expressed disappointment at the movie, it's not because of a lack of quality. The Beatles come across as somewhat unbelievable gagsters, but let's face it... it's not like you want to watch it for the dense characterisation.
Where the movie excels is as a comedy... if music hadn't come so readily to them, they could well have passed for modern day (comparatively at least) Marx Brothers. Although the script is somewhat rough in places, it has a constant energy and vitality to it... much like the music of the Beatles themselves.
The soundtrack is pure gold quality... some of the finest Beatles songs ever penned acompany the Wacky Antics.
Well worth seeing even if you're only a casual Beatles fan... a jewel of a movie, and much better than their later 'Help' and 'Yellow Submarine' forays into the visual arts.
And of course, one musn't forget Paul's grandfather. He's a very clean old man.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *+* 5 ++++++++ stars *+* 11 Jun 2004
By A Customer
I am a 15 girl who has lately been feeling she has been born in the wrong era, and after watching this movie...i realised i was right.
Not only do i have the joys of hearing some classic beatles songs, but i also get to experience John Lennons dry sense of humour and George Harrisons gorgeous-ness to the max!
There are some classic cameo's in this film that even i can recognise, the only problem i have to console myself of, is that George met Patti Boyd while he was filming this (boo sucks!) But otherwise i would say its definatly one of the best films i have seen.
(watch out for John lennons hillarious antics in the bathtub!)
Kt XxX
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Richard Lester worked with the Beatles to produce a clever, touching, visually interesting, humourous and well-acted film that makes the most of the fantastic music and the Beatlemania and uses wonderful English character actors circa 1964 to bounce off the boys' Liverpudlian wit.

The film was obviously a showcase for the music and to introduce the boys' personalities. I like the extras: George Martin is such a great guy that you can't help but be entranced by anything he says, and I love seeing Brian Epstein footage because he was sneaky but extremely clever as a pop promoter.

A lovely, nostalgic ride back to when things seemed a touch simpler.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Watch it by yourself and sing every song out loud.
Published 6 days ago by lyn sweeney
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good buy
Published 16 days ago by adam hill
5.0 out of 5 stars good film
What can I say. Its the Beatles!! Great film great music!!
Published 22 days ago by S. L. Farmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Price discrepancies - the mind boggles
Viewed this page in June 2014, when the price was quoted as follows:

Price: 158.99
Only 3 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by passionFlix UK. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Lee C. Mendham
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hard Day's Night dvd.
A great movie. Any fans of the Fab Four who haven't got a copy, should buy it. The songs are timeless classics, and the scrip by Alun Owens, is in keeping with The Beatles own... Read more
Published 4 months ago by David Peel
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD jumps and freezes. Bad copy
The DVD jumped and froze the whole way through. Then suddenly in the 4th scene the language change from English to Japanese. DO NOT BUY!!!! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ms. Siobhan Avis
5.0 out of 5 stars Art
My advice to any of you out there thinking about taking the plunge and purchasing this film is to: Buy, watch, love.
Published 4 months ago by John Bernard Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars classic, great fun
I don't need to explain why this remarkable and historic film should be on your shelf, so I only want to address secondary issues. Read more
Published 5 months ago by dukeofwellingtons
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Beatles Fan!
I love the Beatles and I no longer have a video player and I didn't think I would be able to get a DVD for my region but amazon uk had one so I'm a very happy Bearles fan. 😃
Published 5 months ago by Mac
5.0 out of 5 stars A hard day,s nights
This brings back so many memories of rock ,n roll in an era ,going back,over 4 decades-in years gone by
Published 5 months ago by Mr Theodore Levin
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