In celebration of it’s 50th Anniversary, the new Criterion Collection re-issue of The Beatles first movie A Hard Day’s Night has now been issued on Blu-Ray and DVD. Released on June 24, 2014 the deluxe edition includes an 80 page book with plenty of photo stills from the film and others from the shooting. Unlike the actual film, some of the photos are in color including the ‘bit in the field’ (baseball diamond sequence used with “Can’t Buy Me Love”). The book also includes a long account on the making of the film by it’s director, Richard Lester, as well as an opening discussion about the film by Film Comment contributor Howard Hampton.
I realize most reading have seen the movie already but for those that haven’t let me just say it’s a zany ninety-minute account of a day in the life of The Beatles in 1964 – with chase scenes from screaming teenage girls, studio performances, press conferences, a mini-concert and even a train ride where, while en route to a show, The Beatles have to care for Paul McCartney’s “mixer” grandfather (played by Wilfred Brambell) who nearly succeeds in influencing Ringo Starr to leave the group. It’s a lot of fun and, of course, the music is great (including the film’s title song, “I Should Have Known Better,” “If I Fell,” “And I Love Her,” “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “She Loves You,” “Tell Me Why” and a few more selections).