Submitted by admin on Wed, 06/19/2024 - 12:54
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present the 60th anniversary of A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (1964). Starring the Beatles at the height of Beatlemania, we'll screen this rock 'n' roll movie classic on Tuesday, June 25, 7:30 PM at the historic Royal theatre in West Los Angeles. Directed by Richard Lester from an Oscar-nominated original screenplay by Alun Owen, the milestone film was also aptly nominated for musical scoring. (George Martin lost to Andre Previn for My Fair Lady.)After the Beatles exploded onto the global stage by early 1964, the British pop group (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr) conquered the American pop music charts with record-breaking domination, and their appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” on American television in February that year cemented their phenomenal popularity. A movie starring the quartet was then put into production in England, planned for a summer release. The finished film, A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, portrays 36 hours in the life of the group as they prepare for a televised variety show concert. Director Richard Lester utilizes several techniques in a semi-documentary style, reinforced by Gilbert Taylor’s black-and-white cinematography, all on dazzling display in the high energy musical comedy.Lester’s approach was fully embraced by film critic Andrew Sarris, who wrote in the Village Voice, “A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (is)… the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals, the brilliant crystallization of such diverse cultural particles as pop music, rock ‘n’ roll, cinema-verite, the nouvelle vague, free cinema, and studied spontaneity.” Roger Ebert was equally impressed, citing it as “one of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies.” Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, one of the powerful tastemakers of the era, also raved, calling it “a whale of a comedy…a wonderfully lively and altogether good-natured spoof of the juvenile madness called Beatlemania.” Comparing the Beatles’ clowning to the Marx Brothers, Crowther enthusiastically endorsed the movie as “rollicking, madcap fun.”The film was highly influential, spawning numerous imitators including the pop group the Monkees‘ television series later in the decade, and the advent of music videos in the 1980s. Lester went onto a long career, helming the second Beatles’ film Help, The Knack, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Petulia, and The Three (and Four) Musketeers among others. The Beatles, of course, became the most influential and innovative pop musicians of the twentieth century, achieving that lofty status in a single decade, the 1960s, before going their separate ways. A HARD DAY’S NIGHT showcases their dynamic music early in their careers, and, as pointed out by TV Guide, “ the strength of their songcraft is stirring.”Our guest Domenic Priore is an author, pop music historian, and pop culture commentator. He has contributed to several books and is the co-author of “Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Last Stand in Hollywood.”A HARD DAY’S NIGHT plays one night only Tuesday, June 25, 7:30 PM at the historic Royal Theatre, celebrating its centennial year, operating continuously as a movie theatre since opening in 1924. Our next attractions include The Secret Garden with guest Agnieszka Holland on June 29, and A Summer Place with film music historian Steven C. Smith on July 11.