Beatles ’embarrassed’ by smash hit Hard Day’s Night

The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night, the namesake of their album, airs from 3:05 p.m. as they headed to London. His plans, however, are thrown into question after one of the gang members meets his long-lost grandfather. And while the film garnered two Academy Award nominations, and was voted the 88th greatest British film of the 20th century by the British Film Institute, the unearthed accounts show what the band really thought of the feature.

Among the songs on A Hard Day’s Night are Tell Me Why, She Loves You, Can’t Buy Me Love and All My Loving, thereby creating an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score, an award that ultimately went to André Previn for My Fair Lady. .

Critical and commercial acclaim followed, with Time magazine calling the film “one of the smoothest, freshest, funniest movies ever made for exploitation.” Meanwhile, noted critic Roger Ebert called it among the “great, life-affirming milestones of cinema.”

Despite its appeal, the band themselves were reportedly greatly embarrassed by the film, with only Harrison seeing it, unearthed accounts show.

The film was made to cash in on the global ‘Beatlemania’ craze that made millions of people around the world obsessed with the Liverpauldlian quartet.

McCartney, who would enjoy greater success after the group broke up in 1970 with Wings and as a solo artist, noted that while they had fun making the film itself, any ambitions to become an actor quickly faded.

According to Ashley Khan’s 2020 book George Harrison: Interviews and Meetings, McCartney said, “The first movie we ever made, and we’re having a good time.

“We’re not very good actors, but we try really hard. That’s the most important thing, really: to try, isn’t it?”

The filming process, McCartney noted, was not taken very seriously, with many members of the group leaving it until the actual shot to learn their lines. Among the worst offenders was Harrison.

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Taylor noted, “The first time John saw him, he said, ‘I can’t take this,’ and ran off. By the concert scene at the end, everyone but George was gone.”

Some claim it was because Harrison was, in fact, the best actor of the four. That was the verdict of the film’s directors, Richard Lester and Stephen Soderberg.

Lester told The Guardian: “Ringo, because his was the flashy part, he was always the odd one out, so he was given features that were more sympathetic.

“John, I don’t think he was interested and didn’t bother. Paul was too interested and tried too hard and George was always the one who forgot. So he just did it and moved on.”

With the band already the biggest stars in the world, the commercial success of A Hard Day’s Night was expected, and it was very well received the following year. Aid! was released.

But the filming process was not without its problems. Producer Walter Shenson noted that he was concerned about the group smoking on set and how this might influence young people to want to take up the habit.

He said: “I knew the audience for our film was young, children and the Beatles were their idols.

“So I sneaked around them, every time the camera started rolling, and I took the cigarette out of their hands. When the director said cut it up, I gave them the cigarette back.”

“I didn’t get it all out, but there was a lot more smoking on the set than you see in the movie.”

A Hard Day’s Night airs today from 3:05pm on BBC Two.

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