Beatles’ ‘Hard Day’s Night’ Gets 4K UHD + Blu-ray Edition

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The Beatles’ 1964 feature film debut, A Hard Day’s Night, has received a 4K digital restoration, and is being released via a new special edition. The restoration, approved by director Richard Lester, arrives January 18, 2022, as a 2-disc UHD + Blu-ray edition via Criterion Collection. (The black-and-white film has been upgraded many times in the previous decades. This edition was first made available in Japan in 2021.)

From the announcement: Just one month after they exploded onto the U.S. scene with their Ed Sullivan Show appearance, John, Paul, George, and Ringo began working on a project that would bring their revolutionary talent to the big screen. This film, in which the bandmates play slapstick versions of themselves, captured the astonishing moment when they officially became the singular, irreverent idols of their generation and changed music forever. Directed with raucous, anything–goes verve by Richard Lester and featuring a slew of iconic pop anthems—including the title track, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Should Have Known Better,” and “If I Fell”—-A Hard Day’s Night, which re-conceived the movie musical and exerted an incalculable influence on the music video, is one of the most deliriously entertaining movies of all time.

“Are you a mod or a rocker?” “I’m a mocker…”

Watch a clip from the film (uploaded by Criterion in 2014)

The collection offers:

  • The new 4K digital restoration, approved by the filmmaker, offers three audio options—-a monaural soundtrack as well as stereo and 5.1 surround mixes supervised by sound producer Giles Martin at Abbey Road Studios—-presented in uncompressed monaural, uncompressed stereo, and DTS-HD Master Audio.
  • One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
  • Audio commentary featuring cast and crew
  • In Their Own Voices, a program featuring 1964 interviews with the Beatles and behind-the-scenes footage and photos
  • You Can’t Do That: The Making of ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ a 1994 documentary by producer Walter Shenson including an outtake performance by the Beatles
  • Things They Said Today, a 2002 documentary about the film featuring Lester, music producer George Martin, screenwriter Alun Owen, and cinematographer Gilbert Taylor
  • Picturewise, a program about Lester’s early work, featuring a 2014 audio interview with the director
  • The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1960), Lester’s Oscar-nominated short
  • Anatomy of a Style, a 2014 program on Lester’s methods
  • Interview from 2014 with Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn
    English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • An essay by critic Howard Hampton and excerpts from a 1970 interview with Lester

Watch a clip from In Their Own Voices

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