A Hard Day's Night (1964)

Directed by Richard Lester

Capturing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in their electrifying element, 'A Hard Day's Night' is a wildly irreverent journey through this pastiche of a day in the life of The Beatles during 1964. The band have to use all their guile and wit to avoid the pursuing fans and press to reach their scheduled television performance, in spite of Paul's troublemaking grandfather and Ringo's arrest.

I don’t believe people should take films all that seriously. I know that’s a terrible attitude, because it puts you out of part of your job, but I think films are to be made and to be seen and not to be taken quite so much as objects to be cherished. I think they are disposable objects. They are as valuable because of their craftsmanship as pieces of period furniture, and they should be taken with as much seriousness or lack of seriousness. I think there is a danger if we expect so much of films. It’s awful because it’s all I can do, and I would hate to think that when I went through my life the only things I can leave behind are the bad manners of my children and these tins of film which represent my deep feelings and my shallow thoughts. There is a danger in even concerning ourselves with whether a film is or is not dated. Of course it’s dated. A Hard Day’s Night was a film which set out to mirror a point in time, a fictionalised documentary representing an enormous change in the social structure of this country. [T]he Beatles picture is dated, if you like, by its naive optimism. But that is precisely because one felt naively optimistic at that time, despite the fact that it happened a year before the Kennedy assassination, not long after the Bay of Pigs. In hindsight, I suppose there was nothing to be optimistic about. But people were. [I] don’t think there is any change in the amount of humour available to us. I think there is a sense of overall optimism or pessimism in the world, and that it runs in cycles. From the early 1960s there was perhaps a sense of optimism, which was totally dashed by around 1967.

Richard Lester (director)