The first Beatles movie chronicles a “typical” day in their lives, filled with frenzied fans, crazy relatives and a soundtrack of familiar songs.
Director: Richard Lester
Starring: George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Anna Quayle, Victor Spinetti, Ringo Starr, Richard Vernon, Norman Rossington, Wilfrid Brambell, John Junkin, Deryck Guyler
Information Page: https://uk.newonnetflix.info/info/60023947
We thought we’d do something different for this week’s review and the whole team is going to be joining in. We have Tammy the die-hard Beatles fan; MaFt the die-hard Beatles hater and punk-rock fan; and Lewis the die-hard ‘not-bothered-either-way’ contributor. Overall, we should be able to give a fairly balanced review and, with any luck, a bit of entertainment…
The Beatle-Fan’s Review
I love The Beatles, I always have, I was brought up on 60’s music especially Mersey beat bands and singers. My favourite album has always been ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ but shamefully I hadn’t watched the film, so when I spotted it was on Netflix I quite possibly performed a little happy dance!
‘A Hard Day’s Night’ is a highly comical look at a day in the life of The Beatles, It is filmed in what would now be classed as a reality TV style, and is good clean fun, a film the whole family could sit and watch together. Starring the ‘Fab Four’ as themselves and Wilfred Brambell of ‘Steptoe and Son’ fame as Paul’s Grandfather, and featuring the tracks from the albums A side.
Although I loved watching this film immensely, so much so in fact I’ve already watched it 3 times, and brought the DVD, there isn’t really much of a storyline to it. I really can’t put my finger on the reason why I liked the film so much, it maybe because of the fact I know the words to the whole soundtrack, or that its The Beatles. However I actually think that its the fact that it is good old fashioned comedy, that doesn’t need to rely on smut or violence to be entertaining.
I would recommend ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ to all Beatles fans and also anyone looking to watch a fun film that the whole family can enjoy.
The Beatle-Hater’s Review
It’s in black and white. I don’t do black and white. The Queen’s Coronation 11 years earlier was filmed in colour. And I’m pretty sure The Beatles had more money than The Queen! OK, I’ve got that off my chest now time for the actual review. The film starts with the band being chased through a train station by hundreds of screaming fans but they don’t stop and give autographs like friendly pop-stars do, they just keep on running and eventually end up on the train. From here-on you get a good feel of the film; it’s a classic, British comedy with elements of slapstick, dry wit and some light-hearted bullying of the drummer (pretty much par-for-the-course in any band). The overall story is the The Beatles go to London, record a slot on a TV show and… well, that’s it really! Throughout the film there are various songs (9 full songs and 3 clips) from the band and I never realised just how many Beatles songs I knew. The songs don’t feel like a soundtrack though, it feels like an extended promo-video rather than blending in with the film itself; It’s as though they are a separate entity. Without the music it would have been about 50 minutes long.
I’m really not a fan of The Beatles but the film isn’t actually too bad. There are a few funny moments (think 60’s/70’s BBC sitcom humour) and ‘the tale of the missing drummer’ is probably my favourite part but I do think this is one for the fans rather than the lay person.
The (Probably) Balanced Review
The Beatles era was a little before my time so it’s hard for me to appreciate what they did for pop music in Britain but I do know they were, and possibly still are, the biggest pop band in the world. I’m reviewing from the stand point of the middle man: not a fan, not a hater. I remember years ago going to see a tribute band whose name escapes me, but I remember even though I was in my late teens I had a great night and sang and danced to a lot of songs. As far as the film was concerned… it wasn’t for me.
I think this might be the first ‘film about a band’ that I have seen. I’m yet to have the pleasure of Spice World, but if this is anything to go by I’ve probably done myself a favour.
I watched this film a few days ago and I still can’t figure out what the hell was going on! We spend a day in the life of the Beatles, which includes avoiding fans, playing musical instruments on trains that appear out of thin air, getting chased by the most incompetent police force in the world only to finally get to the studios where they are due to perform… All while looking after Paul McCartney’s grandad (not that one, the other one); who by the way is the victim of an inside joke, which isn’t an inside joke as it refers to a TV show the actor is in… confused? Welcome to my world.
My biggest gripe was every time Ringo opened his mouth, I thought I was watching an episode of Thomas The Tank Engine! Would I recommend this film to an everyday Netflix viewer? Probably not. Would I recommend it to a fan of the Beatles? Yes! I’m sure this glorified 90 minute music video is gonna be a big hit with even casual fans of the ‘Fab Four’.
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!