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A Hard Day's Night U rating

The Beatles’ freewheeling film debut remains the pinnacle of rock-n-roll cinema; still deliriously entertaining 50 years on.

Musical 1964 88 mins

Director: Richard Lester



The Beatles’ freewheeling film debut remains deliriously entertaining 50 years on, anarchically revelling in the Fab Four’s slapstick, sardonic personas and adopting a kinetic visual style – influenced by the French New Wave - that would inspire the modern music video.

Made at the peak of Beatlemania, it chronicles a couple of days in the life of the band as they try and escape the attentions of hysterical fans, clueless hacks, uncool toffs, a perpetually fretful manager and the regrettable presence of Paul’s ‘clean’ but meddling grandfather. Alun Owen’s witty, Oscar®-nominated script ensures that the film endures as a scintillating blend of marvellous music and gently satirical comedy, and John, Paul, George and Ringo ooze youthful irreverence and utterly unforced charm. The cinematography, at times imaginatively witty, at others almost documentary-like, was by the great Gilbert Taylor.