Fab Four’s fame

Rating: NNNNsometimes people with crass in-tentions just get lucky. The folks at United Artists wanted a Beatles record in their.


Rating: NNNN


sometimes people with crass in-tentions just get lucky. The folks at United Artists wanted a Beatles record in their catalogue, and since the Beatles were under contract to Capitol, the only way to get one was to fashion a soundtrack for an original film. They hired a virtually unknown filmmaker who’d made a music film called It’s Trad, Dad, and the result was A Hard Day’s Night, dubbed “the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals” by Andrew Sarris.

Almost 40 years later, A Hard Day’s Night is one of those films that defines the early 60s, along the way inventing the rock video form and allowing the Beatles to send up the overwhelming fame that had descended on them.

Aside from its obvious charms ­– the restless kinetic energy, the Beatles soundtrack and their personalities as actors/performers ­– A Hard Day’s Night is interesting because it was the first film to define the mood of mega-fame in the modern world. The soundtrack was the first LP I ever owned, which dates me nicely and indicates a fondness for this film that surpasses basic critical criteria.

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