Today I saw A Hard Day's Night, which has been restored for its 50th anniversary.
The 1964 classic, which could have been named for another Beatles hit, "A Day in the Life," shows just that as it follows the four most famous men in the world around on a 'show day.' Though not a documentary, the parallels between the real lives of the stars and their fictitious counterparts cannot be understated.
At this time in their lives, John, Paul, George and Ringo most certainly had screaming girls chasing them around every corner and most definitely made light of their unprecedented circumstances with sharp sarcasm. This, along with a clean grandfather, an important concert gig, a spirited train ride, a dance club and a wandering Ringo round out the main activities in the film, not one of them bordering on dull.
I think what I love most about this movie is the joy.
The men are still boys—barely scratching the surface of their talent—but they're already dominating the world. They've amplified England and cheered up a sad America in the wake of their president's assassination. They've created the happiest, catchiest, music around, and its melodies are infectious.
It's hard not to smile while you watch A Hard Day's Night.
Aside from the clever dialog, the abundance of brilliant music is its greatest asset. Though the live tracks at the end bring the true crescendo of 'happy,' there are several performances sprinkled throughout to keep even the most hungry of fans satisfied.
Seeing this restored version, with digital restoration approved by its original director, is a cinematic feast for the eyes and ears not to be missed.