The Beatles' 'A Hard Day's Night' still brings out audiences, 50 years later

By Daniel S Levine,

This weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the release of A Hard Day’s Night, the first film starring The Beatles. Amazingly, the film was shot, edited and released just six months after The Beatles’ broke through in America with “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and The Ed Sullivan Show appearances.

To mark the occasion, Janus Films re-released the movie over the weekend, utilizing the new digital restoration and stereo soundtrack. It sounds truly magnificent and brought in packed houses, even if the movie was older than many in the audiences and is in black and white.

According to Deadline, Janus said the film grossed $160,000 from just 102 theaters. Many locations outside of New York were playing it this weekend as a special holiday treat, but the distributor plans on releasing the film at 30 more locations this weekend and more throughout the summer.

The Criterion Collection label has also just released the film on Blu-ray and DVD - the first time the film has been issued on home video since Miramax’s 2002 DVD. While that set’s extra material focused on the Beatles and their cohorts, Criterion chose to focus on the director, Richard Lester.

In addition to a new appreciation for the film, seeing it on the big screen will also help audiences appreciate the masterful Beatles tunes throughout.

“On A Hard Day's Night, there was a quantum leap in the quality of the compositions and the way they were recorded,” Beatles historian Martin Lewis told USA Today. “The songs are more evolved and complex and sophisticated. There's a surprising self-confidence.”

You can check out our full review of the film here.

image courtesy of ACE/INFphoto.com

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