Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Hard Day's Night

Today, July 6th, 47 years ago, in 1964 The Beatles first film, A Hard Day's Night premiered in London. Before premiering, the movie screened at the London Pavilion cinema in Piccadilly Circus, with thousands of Beatles fans gathering outside. The ever growing crowd caused a giant traffic jam. The black-and-white mockumentary followed a day in the life of John, Paul, George, and Ringo better known as The Beatles. They were joined by Paul's grandfather (Wilfrid Brambell), their manager (Norman Rossington), and their road manager Shake (John Junkin). The film opens with a hoard of fans chasing The Beatles. They escape on a train stationed in Liverpool bound to London to preform for a television broadcast. On the train the Fab Four meet challenges with babysitting Paul's grandfather. The man might be old but sure knows how to get into mischief. A running joke in the movie about grandfather McCartney is that he is a "clean old man." The Beatles finally arrive in London but are trapped in their hotel while fans scream outside. The group explores what the hotel has to offer but lose grandfather in the process. Ringo finds in a man whose clothes were taken by grandfather, in the hotel closet reading the newspaper and smoking. They are then taken to the theater were they are to preform. Forced to endure a press conference and rehearsal The Beatles escape the building by a fire exit and run around. Eventually they return but Paul's grandfather who is "a real mixer" convinces reading Ringo that he should be outside experiencing life instead of reading books, so Ringo goes off by himself. He walks along a canal, gloomily while the other bands members search for him. He is arrested for loitering and meets Paul's grandfather. They escape and the concert goes on as planned. A Hard Day's Night is my favorite Beatles' film because of their comedy and quick wit. Another great part about the movie is the music. Music from The Beatles' third album A Hard Day's Night, (obvious but I thought I would say it) is featured in the film. "A Hard Day's Night", "I Should Have Known Better, "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Don't Bother Me", "All My Loving", "If I Fell", "Can't Buy Me Love", "And I Love Her", "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You", "Tell Me Why", "She Loves You" all appear in the feature film. The action packed film's sharp comic script, and dreamy musical segments for the swooning fan girls, made the it a huge financial and critical success. The picture made The Beatles more rich, more famous, and more adored. I think the best thing about the movie was George Harrison meeting his future wife the lovely Pattie Boyd. Pattie said, "On first impressions, John seemed more cynical and brash than the others, Ringo the most endearing, Paul was cute and George, with velvet-brown eyes and dark chestnut hair, was the best-looking man I had ever seen. At a break for lunch I found myself sitting next to him. Being close to him was electrifying.” Pattie made an uncredited appearance as one of the school girls on the train. "Prisoners?" was her one and only line. At a break for lunch Pattie found herself sitting next to George. The two who were very shy, didn't say a word but as filming came to an end George asked Pattie, "Will you marry me?" Pattie thought it was a joke and laughed. "Well, if you won't marry me, will you have dinner with me tonight?" George asked. Pattie said she couldn't because she had a boyfriend already. She soon realized she made a huge mistake. For one she didn't love Eric Swayne (her boyfriend) and second she felt a connection with George. She broke up with her boyfriend and ten days later, went to Twickenham Studios to take promotional photos for the movie. Each of the school girls (who were really models) had to stand behind a Beatle and pretend to do their hair. Pattie made a beeline for George. He was pleased to see her and asked how her boyfriend was. Pattie told him that she had dumped Eric and George who was very happy to know Pattie was available asked her out to dinner. On January 21, 1966 they married. All I can say is all's well that ends well. :)

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