What It’s About: The Beatles must travel from Liverpool to London to record a live broadcast. Along the way they deal with a “typical” day of outrunning fans, dealing with square industry flacks, and Paul’s dirty old granddad (Wilfrid Brambell), who causes trouble between the lads and gets himself into all kinds of problems indulging his vices.
Why Watch it Today?: The Beatles arrived in New York for the first time in 1964, launching the British Invasion and Beatlemania in the U.S. For a film made to cash-in on a band’s success, A Hard Day’s Night is far, far better than it has any right to be, with able, playful direction by Richard Lester that gives the film a simultaneous documentary and slapstick comedy feel. The Beatles acquit themselves admirably for amateurs, and the film’s musical numbers would be mined for year to come in popular culture. Full review here. Nominated for Best Score and Best Original Screenplay.