Anniversary of A Hard Day's Night

03/02/2011
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(Gibson) With Beatlemania running rampant in both Britain and America and spreading rapidly to other countries, The Beatles were riding high in early 1964. Having scored a couple of #1 albums and an armload of #1 singles, the Fab Four had properly conquered the music world and were set to make their mark in another medium. On this day in 1964, The Beatles began filming A Hard Day's Night.

Although John, Paul, George and Ringo had become huge pop stars, the movie didn't have a lavish budget. Shot in black-and-white, A Hard Day's Night was made for the relatively small sum of 200,000 (around $500,000). Both the writer and the director of the film had been selected because The Beatles had been fans of their previous work. Director Richard Lester had made The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film with Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers each of whom the boys loved. Meanwhile, writer Alun Owen had proven he could pen his share of Liverpudlian dialog in his play No Trams to Lime Street.

To get a sense for how Lennon, McCartney and the guys talked to each other and to outsiders, Owen spent a few days with The Beatles as they sprinted through their busy schedule. He described the experience as "a train and a room and a car and a room and a room and a room," a line that would make it into the screenplay. McCartney would later praise Owen's work: "Alun hung around with us and was careful to try and put words in our mouths that he might've heard us speak, so I thought he did a very good script." more on this story

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