A Hard Day's Night review

Or: Back When We Were Scamps. These days, the French New Wave-ish quick cutting and self-consciousness of Richard Lester's slip of swinging '60s Scousesploitation doesn't seem half as fresh as The Beatles themselves, whose badinage fuels this prototypical pop movie.

The plot follows the fidgety four over 36 hours of dodging managers, press, police and fans while making their way to a concert, with Paul McCartney's "very clean" Grandpa (Wilfrid "Steptoe" Brambell) slipped in as comic foil. That's about it, bar a bland Ringo-goes-walkabout interlude, but as a vehicle for the mop-tops' schoolboy humour and all-smiles-and-screams gig, it's infectious stuff.

Lester's stylistic tics have been so copied that they're bound to seem quaint, but his film's meandering path is really just a backdrop for the irresistible likes of She Loves You. And you know that can't be bad.


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