A Hard Day’s Night (1964, The Beatles)

Poster for the movie "A Hard Day's Night"
G 88 min - Comedy, Music - 6 July 1964
Our rating:

Before directing this, the Beatles' first motion picture, U.S.-born "Brit" Richard Lester had been responsible for the little-known, teen-pop flick called It's Trad, Dad and Mouse on the Moon, an inferior sequel to The Mouse That Roared. More important, however, was his radio/TV background with the "Goon" shows and an uninhibited, comic theatrical short with the odd title The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film, starring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan.

Lester's selection as director of the popular Beatles' first movie proved a clever choice, for he found immediate rapport with those four music-making mopheads from Liverpool. Completed for only $504,000, the result pleasantly surprised both the motion picture industry and its critics.

Much of the film's success is due to Alun Owen's fresh and funny screenplay, especially tailored to suggest how the Beatles cope with their fame. In A Hard Day's Night, John, Paul, George, and Ringo simply play themselves, with Owen's script augmented by the improvisational ideas of Richard Lester. All of which makes A Hard Day's Night an infectious mixture of Beatlesong and wacky comedy of a kind not seen since the heyday of the Marx Brothers. To the accompaniment of a dozen-odd songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the movie tumbles headlong in a whirl of breezy jokes and sight gags, hand-held photography, and near surreal camera tricks, as the boys romp through their paces with carefree charm and casual good humor.

In 1965, Richard Lester reunited with the Beatles for Help! With the addition of Technicolor and Bahamian locations, the cost was nearly double that of its modest, black-and-white predecessor.

Director:  Richard Lester
Writers:  Alun Owen
Producer:  Walter Shenson, Denis O'Dell
Director of Photography:  Gilbert Taylor


Production Details

Release Date:  6 July 1964

Running Time:  1 h 28 min

Genres: Comedy, Music
Country:   United Kingdom

Language:  English

Tagline: The Beatles, starring in their first full-length, hilarious, action-packed film!

Budget and Box Office takings where known

Budget:  $560,000
Revenue:  $12,299,668