A Hard Day’s Night back in theaters

On July 29, 2014 by admin

Though the newly-restored film has been playing around the country since July 4th during its 50th anniversary year, it hasn’t played everywhere just yet. You’ll have to check your local listings, as they say, to see if it is yet coming your way.


In the meantime, I put together a short  list of things to look for in the film for when you do see it. There are facts about the film that a lot of people already know: that George met Pattie Boyd, his first wife, on the set, or that a young Phil Collins appears in a blink-and-you-miss-it shot as an extra in the final concert sequence, but here are a few things you might not have been aware of, no matter how many times you’ve seen it:

The word “Beatles” is never spoken in the entire film, though it appears on screen a couple of times.

George Harrison’s tumble in the opening shot was not scripted. He ripped his suit but was otherwise unhurt.

John ad libbed a visual sight gag on the train when their manager first appears, sniffing Coke (Pepsi, actually) from a bottle.

The screaming fans seen pursuing The Beatles after they get off the train and into the limo are real and unscripted; director Dick Lester simply gave his crew the word to start shooting. Hence the clothes continuity inconsistency.

During the question-and-answer session with the press, John is asked about his hobbies by actress Anne Clune. He writes the answer on her notepad, to which she registers shock. Remastering of the film reveals his unscripted reply: a slang term for female breasts.

During the filming of the “Can’t Buy Me Love” field sequence, John had to cut out early to attend the literary luncheon, honoring his first book, In His Own Write. He was body doubled where his face is not shown.

I’ll Cry Instead” was written for the field sequence but director Richard Lester didn’t care for it. “Can’t Buy Me Love,” a hit single before the film’s release, was used twice.

The second “Can’t Buy Me Love” sequence depicts a car thief at work. The uncredited actor was John Bluthal, who appeared in a larger role a year later in Help! as the high priest’s right-hand man.

The “Mother” of both John and Paul are mentioned in the film’s script; ironically, since both had lost their mothers while in their teens. (George and Ringo’s mothers were alive and well in 1964.)

Each Beatle was accorded a solo scene but Paul’s didn’t make it to the final cut, as Lester felt Paul just didn’t have a handle on the dialogue. The director discovered in 1970 that all the outtakes from both Beatle films had been destroyed by United Artists to make room in their film vaults. 

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