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A Hard Day's Night (1964)

By Heather Joslyn | Posted

Anyone who wants to know the difference between Elvis Presley and the four lads who knocked him off his throne need look no further than the first two scenes with dialogue of the Beatles' first movie. In the first, they make merciless fun of an old man; in the second, they make merciless fun of a middle-aged man. Presley would have addressed the codgers deferentially as "Sir"; when the Mop Tops cough the word up, it's always dripping with irony. And never has busting the patriarchy's chops looked liked so much fun: A Hard Day's Night burst with joy, running alongside John, Paul, George, and Ringo as they whip through 24 hours of travel, tunes, and quips--especially quips, of the swashbuckling, vaguely hostile variety. (Stodgy businessman: "I fought the war for your sort." Ringo: "I bet you're sorry you won.") Director Richard Lester matches his stars' energy with the caffeinated cutting style he learned in the British ad industry, and casually invents the non-sequitur music video with "Can't Buy Me Love." It's rebellious fun for the whole family

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