The Beatles’ first movie, A Hard Day’s Night, was released to the public on July 6th, 1964, which is 50 years ago today. In honor of the occasion, the Criterion Collection spent 18 months restoring the available original negative reels of the film and remixing them with other sources to present in theaters and on home video. That's four times as long as it took to produce the original film! Mental_floss has an article on the restoration process.
In approaching any film restoration, the company abides by a set of principles that favors the integrity of the physical film itself over imposing their mark on it. “Our particular philosophy has been to use a light hand to try to retain the look and feel of film, and I think that’s what has happened here,” Becker says, “which is to say to honor the [film] grain, and to be sensitive to what makes a film image alive.”
In the case of A Hard Day's Night, the company's plan was to digitally scan the original source materials into 4K—giving the film a high definition resolution of four thousand pixels—at their in-house lab. But instead of using their countless digital restoration tools to over-stabilize, over-saturate, or clean the 24-frames-per-second images completely to make the movie totally digitally pristine, the Criterion team used the less-is-more mantra when necessary.
But before you go see it at a theater near you, you might want to get ready with other posts about A Hard Day’s Night.
Brush up on your movie trivia with 25 Things You Didn’t Know About A Hard Day’s Night. Here's a sample:
Model and artist Pattie Boyd appears in several scenes in the movie (she was one of the schoolgirls on the train, for example). Boyd fell in love with future husband George Harrison during filming.
The movie was called Yeah Yeah Yeah in Germany, Tutti Per Uno (All for One) in Italy, Quatre Garçons Dans Le Vent (Four Boys in the Wind) in France, Yeah! Yeah! Tässä tulemme! (Yeah! Yeah! Here We Come!) in Finland, and Os Reis do Iê-Iê-Iê (The Kings of Yeah-Yeah-Yeah) in Brazil.
The first time The Beatles saw A Hard Day's Night. They were so busy watching themselves that they missed what happened.
"She Loves You" by The Beatles. Also see our many other Beatles articles by Eddie Deezen.
For music and math geeks: Beatles Unknown "A Hard Day's Night" Chord Mystery Solved Using Fourier Transform.
And for fun, here’s A Hard Day's Night of the Living Dead.