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A Hard Day's Night

A Hard Day's Night (1964)

tomatometer

99

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Reviews Counted: 77
Fresh: 76 | Rotten: 1

A Hard Day's Night, despite its age, is still a delight to watch and has proven itself to be a rock-and-roll movie classic.

96

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 1

A Hard Day's Night, despite its age, is still a delight to watch and has proven itself to be a rock-and-roll movie classic.

audience

90

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 47,196

My Rating

Movie Info

During the first worldwide flush of Beatlemania in 1964, United Artists wanted to ship out a movie with The Beatles before their vogue was over. Working within a tight $500,000 budget, director Richard Lester turned out A Hard Day's Night in a fast 6 1/2 weeks; the picture was in the theatres three months after shooting commenced. Using a variety of techniques cribbed from Hollywood slapstick comedies, the French "new wave" movement, and his own experiences as a TV-commercial director, Lester,

G,

Musical & Performing Arts, Classics, Comedy

Alun Owen

Sep 24, 2002

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All Critics (77) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (76) | Rotten (1) | DVD (23)

At best, it is fun. But "fun" is not an aesthetic experience: fun remains on the surface. I have nothing against the surface. But it belongs where it is and shouldn't be taken for anything else.

January 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

American-born director Richard Lester serves up a helping of what, on this side of the pond, we came to think of as kicky, mod British filmmaking.

September 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The mop-tops are likeably relaxed, with Lennon offering a few welcome moments of his dry, acerbic wit.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a fine conglomeration of madcap clowning in the old Marx Brothers' style, and it is done with such a dazzling use of camera that it tickles the intellect and electrifies the nerves.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not only has this film not dated, it may even look fresher than it did in 1964; the zigzag cutting and camera moves, the jaunty ironies and pop-celebrity playfulness, are all standard issue now on MTV and its offspring.

January 22, 2002 Full Review Source: New York Magazine | Comments (2)
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To watch the final concert segment is to look back decades and realize, as you do seeing vintage footage of Duke Ellington or Frank Sinatra or John Coltrane, that it's never really gotten any better.

January 19, 2001
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Worth re-watching over and over again to relive the Beatles music, personalities, and lasting legacy.

June 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Richard Lester's inventive, humorous mockumentary of the Beatles had a huge impact, forever changing the definition and limits of the musical movie genre.

June 8, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Beatles classic as fabulous as the Fab Four.

December 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The best British film of the 1960s.

September 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

For fans this is a chance to enjoy The Beatles' legendary music and charisma with unprecedented clarity.

April 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Director Richard Lester and writer Alun Owen (who has never gotten the credit he deserves) treat us to a fanciful day in the life of the Beatles, filmed in 1964 at (they thought) the peak of the Fab Four's popularity.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

The film moves with such joy, humor and fluidity that you can't help getting swept up in the frenzied action.

February 3, 2008 | Comment (1)
KPBS.org

It's by no stretch of the imagination a good film, but it gets over as a curio and a landmark in modern Western culture.

August 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

See it for no other reason than it's all too rare you can spend 87 minutes smiling and feeling positive about life.

March 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

That Lester and the Beatles got away with the irreverent and superb Hard Day's Night is, by today's standards, a miracle.

October 15, 2003 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

The cinema has had many landmarks, but few have been as entertaining.

June 19, 2003 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

The kind of timeless artifact that, decades after its making, still hits the senses like a burst of fresh air.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Everything about this movie is a smile.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The result still seems fresh and different decades later.

November 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

...if you don't like the Beatles, you don't like rock 'n' roll. And if you don't like A Hard Day's Night, you don't like movies.

October 30, 2002 Full Review | Comments (4)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Captures the Beatles when they still looked like they were having fun, back before drugs and psychedelia and Yoko Ono took effect.

October 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat | Comment (1)
Aisle Seat

Audience Reviews for A Hard Day's Night

As a Beatles fan this was perfect for me. It shows the boys at the beginning of their fame with some of their (in my opinion) best music. Loved it.
October 23, 2011
StarCrossedVoyager

Super Reviewer

The Beatles' debut feature film (well, as a group) is a masterpiece. I can't say anything about LET IT BE or YELLOW SUBMARINE, as I have not yet seen those two, but if you are trying to decide on whether to rent this or HELP!, rent this, no questions asked. It appears somewhat as a black-and-white documentary, but then you see and hear a Beatles number being performed, and it's immediately a musical. If you want a good movie from rock's best band, try this. I'm sure you'll love it.
September 24, 2011
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

For the Beatles first of many kooky and quirky feel good movies, Hard Day's Night is certainly the most beautiful and well shot out of them all. Black and white, crisp and yet fragile, the shots were picked with the precision of the gods, some amazing cinematography and innovative choices in the way this was directed. The film's premise is to follow The Beatles in a day in their life, which apparently consists of screaming fans, depraved relatives wandering off and on the stage, and some freaking awesome performances. Everyone loves their music (no arguments) so even if you can't get caught up in the dry British humor and zany antics of the foursome, then you can sit back and listen to the enticing songs and accompanying scores, sometimes playing over their silent actions, and a lot of the time taking place in a recording studio or onstage amongst a flock of mod 60's brit chicks. Along for the ride is their frantic manager, a foreign television director, and Paul's sex addicted grandfather (oh yeah). They're pretty cute, attending to their wiley needs as some ruffian kids, getting picked up by the authorities very easily, the grandfather following them around, messing up their plans with the aforethought of an advanced toddler. It's a great nostalgia trip and a look into a "realistic" day in the life of the greatest band ever.
August 26, 2011
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

I like the Beatles but I think you have to be a hard core fan to enjoy this one. It is, for the best part quite frankly awful. I never thought I'd feel sorry for old Wilfrid Brambell but he doesn't deserve the abuse he gets here. It's not very funny, there are maybe one or two good lines but it's fairly stupid for the rest of it. Very of its time and a little dated, give me Les Bicyclettes De Belsize over this any day.
May 3, 2011
SirPant

Super Reviewer

    1. Paul McCartney: We're a community, majority vote, up the workers and all that stuff!
    – Submitted by Jessica C (17 months ago)
    1. John Lennon: He's a nice old man, isn't he?
    2. Paul McCartney: He's very clean.
    – Submitted by Shishuraj K (18 months ago)
    1. Society reporter: What do you call that haircut?
    2. George Harrison: ARTHUR.
    – Submitted by Humberto F (18 months ago)
    1. John Lennon: I now declare this bridge open!
    – Submitted by Geraldo G (20 months ago)
    1. Society reporter: [to John Lennon] Tell me, how did you find America?
    2. John Lennon: Turn left to Greenland.
    – Submitted by Jerid N (21 months ago)
    1. Norm: Ringo what are you up to?
    2. Ringo Starr: Page five.
    – Submitted by Jessica C (21 months ago)
View all quotes (24)

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Foreign Titles

  • A Hard Day's Night (1964) (CA)
  • Quatre garçons dans le vent (FR)
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