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Movie Review

A Hard Day's Night

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Directed by Richard Lester, starring John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison and Wilfrid Brambell.

We've all heard the song, but how many of us have actually seen the 1964 film of 'A Hard Day's Night'? It's one of those you've always meant to see or have seen bits of ("Is that the one that starts off with them all on a train?"). Following major repair work, including digital restoration, new and old fans alike can revel in what is essentially the first rockumentary of all time.

Certainly not memorable for the plot (Beatles on train, Beatles running away from screaming girls, Beatles trying to get to a TV show on time), the film is ahead of its time. Richard Lester's frenetic pace captures the hysteria of Beatlemania with a comic, passionate edginess considered quite ground-breaking at the time.

While fans will assert that it is one of the best rock 'n' roll movies made, the cynics say it was merely a thinly veiled cash-in vehicle for a band at the peak of their career. (Remember 'Spiceworld'?)

'A Hard Days Night' is a mock-reality day in the life (no pun intended) of four teen-heartthrob Liverpudlians and never claims to be anything more than that. The fab four belt out classics such as 'All My Lovin', 'Can't Buy Me Love', 'And I Love Her' and 'She Loves You'. While these timeless classics are a welcome inclusion, Wilfrid Brambell's stage-Irish grandfather character isn't. But, overall it's innocuous, foot-tapping fun.

Sinéad Gleeson

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