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A Hard Day's Night - 50th Anniversary Restoration
on 21 July 2014
This year, 2014,has a lot of big, Beatles anniversaries and this includes the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first movie, "A Hard Day's Night." This is a 2 DVD package; the first disc being the cleaned up, restored and remixed version of the movie and the second disc consisting of extra bonus features:
In Their Own Words- interviews with the Beatles along with behind-the-scenes footage and photos.
You Can't Do That: The Making of `A Hard Day's Night,' which is the documentary hosted by Phil Collins, released on video in 1995. I know a lot of fans really wanted this included on the last DVD release of the film, so I am sure that many will be delighted to have it in this package.
Things They Said Today - this includes many interviews with people involved with the film, most of which I have seen before. Still, it is interesting to hear the stories from everyone from Alun Owen, actors and those behind the scenes.
Picturewise -a new piece about Richard Lester's early work and includes an audio interview. A real shame that the UK release does not include The Running Jumping and Standing Still film, which is on the US edition of this. I am not sure what the reason is, but hopefully it may appear on the next repackaging...
Anatomy of a Style -another mini documentary on Dick Lester's methods and style
Audio commentary with cast and crew
New 50th Anniversary Trailer
For those who have never seen the film, you are in for a treat. This is the Beatles in the midst of Beatlemania, when their huge success was just taking off and everything was new and exciting. They are also good actors - even Paul, who always seems to come in for criticism, is pretty good, ("I'd ask you myself, only I'm shy...."). They all acquit themselves well and the script and direction allows them to be natural and not have too much acting to do or lines to deliver. Experienced actors help carry the action, without perhaps overshadowing the Beatles themselves, in the way that John Lennon complained of in "Help" and it is fast moving; showcasing the Beatles charm, humour and charisma. Of course, it is meant to be a semi-fictional day in the life of the Beatles and it helped to highlight them as individual personalities, although some of the stereotypes did not perhaps do the Fabs many favours as time went on. Still, in this film they turn from `The Beatles' and become, "John, Paul, George and Ringo." Thank goodness some of the movie's backers did not get their way and allow the Beatles voices to be dubbed by other actors...
Overall, this has a nice clean and crisp picture and excellent remixing of the music by Giles Martin. The film stands head and shoulders over any `pop' or `rock' movie made up to that point - and beyond. My own children, 7 and 9, love it and the appeal of the Beatles will live on forever. Now, can we fans please have The Beatles at Shea Stadium released on DVD?