In honor of the 50th anniversary of the first Beatles film, “A Hard Day’s Night,” select theaters across the country will be showing the movie over July 4th weekend. So get ready to sing along with some of your favorite Beatles tunes, at the movies!
The film was restored earlier this year, premiering at the TCM Classic Movie Festival in Hollywood, CA in April. This version will be shown in 50 cities, nationwide, to celebrate its 50th anniversary. “A Hard Day’s Night” debuted in London on July 6, 1964, during what was the height of Beatlemania in the UK and US.
The first feature-length film with the Beatles, “A Hard Day’s Night” was written by Alun Owen and directed by Richard Lester. For those who have never seen it, the plot depicts the band travelling from Liverpool to a gig in London, with various mishaps and distractions along the way. The Beatles perform a handful of songs for the movie, most of which made it onto the A Hard Day’s Night album that same year. The black-and-white movie was also particularly low budget, costing only $500,000 to make, but netting over $12 million.
The 50th anniversary release includes a 4K digital restoration to this classic and beloved film, which will hit theaters on July 4th. The special edition Blu-ray and two-disc DVD, to be released on July 21st, is packed with bonus features and three audio options: stereo, mono and 5.1 surround sound. The bonus disc will contain a documentary entitled “Things We Said Today” and a commentary track based on interviews conducted by Beatles expert Martin Lewis. Certainly an exciting event with a tinge of sadness since John Lennon and George Harrison are no longer with us.
Producing the restoration was Giles Martin, son of Beatles long time produce George Martin. Also weighing in was the original director, Richard Lester, who at 82 gave his full approval. One of the difficulties Giles had was with the song She Loves You. Since the original stereo master was unavailable, the mono version had to be subbed.
Check your local listings to see when “A Hard Day’s Night” is playing near you!
-David Melamed (@DMelamz)