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Clacton-on-Sea - West Cliff and Pier in the Early 1960's. And 'A Hard Day's Night'.

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posted by alias pepandtim on Wednesday 28th of April 2021 08:39:38 AM

The Postcard A Nene Series postcard that was published by H. Coates & Sons of Wisbech. The card was posted in Clacton-on-Sea on Thursday the 23rd. April 1964 to: Mrs. Wilson, 58, Rokeby Road, Brockley, London S. E. 4. The message on the divided back of the card was as follows: "A line from Kate. I thought you would like to hear I am getting along and stronger. I hope Dollie got on alright and is now better than when I left Rokeby Road. Be seeing you all soon. Love from Kate to you both". 'A Hard Day's Night' So what else happened on the day that Kate posted the card? Well, on the 23rd. April 1964, the "Can't Buy Me Love" segment of 'A Hard Day's Night', which featured creative camera work and the band running and jumping around in a field, was shot at Thornbury Playing Fields, Isleworth, Middlesex. A Hard Day's Night is a 1964 musical comedy film directed by Richard Lester and starring the English rock band The Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—during the height of Beatlemania. It was written by Alun Owen, and originally released by United Artists. The film portrays 36 hours in the lives of the group as they prepare for a television performance. The film was a financial and critical success, and was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay. Forty years after its release, Time magazine rated it as one of the 100 all-time great films. In 1997, British critic Leslie Halliwell described it as: "A comic fantasia with music; an enormous commercial success with the director trying every cinematic gag in the book." The film is credited as being one of the most influential of all musical films, inspiring numerous spy films, the Monkees' television show, and many pop music videos. In 1999, the British Film Institute ranked it the 88th. greatest British film of the 20th. century. The Plot of A Hard Day's Night The Beatles evade a horde of fans while boarding a train for London. En route, they meet Paul's trouble-making grandfather for the first time; he becomes so much of a nuisance that Paul has him locked up in the guards van, but he and the others soon join him inside. They play cards and entertain some schoolgirls before arriving at the London station, where they're quickly driven to a hotel and begin to feel cooped up. Their manager Norm tasks them with answering all their fan mail, but they sneak out to party, only to be caught by Norm and taken back. They then find out that the grandfather went to a gambling club using an invitation sent to Ringo, and, after a brief dust-up, they bring him back to the hotel. The next day, they arrive at a TV studio for a performance. After the initial rehearsal, the producer thinks they're out to sabotage his career (thanks to something the grandfather said). There is a press conference, where the Beatles are bored by the mundane questioning. They leave through a fire escape and cavort in a field until forced off by the owner. Back in the studios, they are separated when a woman named Millie recognises John, but cannot recall who he is. George is lured into a trendmonger's office to audition for an ad with a popular female model. The boys all return to rehearse a second song, and after a quick trip to makeup, smoothly go through a third, and earn a break. With an hour before the final run-through, Ringo is forced to chaperone Paul's grandfather, and takes him to the canteen for tea while he reads a book. The grandfather manipulates Ringo into going outside to experience life rather than reading books, passing a surprised John and Paul on the way out. He tries to have a quiet drink in a pub, takes pictures, walks alongside the river and rides a bicycle along a railway station platform. While the other three search in vain for Ringo, he is arrested on suspicion and taken to a police station, where Paul's grandfather joins him shortly after attempting to sell Beatles photos with forged signatures. The grandfather makes a break for it, runs back to the studio and tells the others about Ringo. Norm sends John, Paul and George to retrieve him. While doing so, the boys wind up in a Keystone Cops-style foot chase before arriving back at the studio with Ringo, with only minutes to spare before airtime. The televised concert goes ahead as planned, after which the Beatles are whisked away to another performance via helicopter. The Cast of A Hard Day's Night -- John Lennon as himself -- Paul McCartney as himself -- George Harrison as himself -- Ringo Starr as himself -- Wilfrid Brambell as John McCartney, Paul's grandfather -- Norman Rossington as Norm, the Beatles' manager -- John Junkin as Shake, the Beatles' road manager -- Victor Spinetti as the TV director -- Anna Quayle as Millie -- Deryck Guyler as police sergeant -- Richard Vernon as Johnson, the gentleman on the train -- Edward Malin as the hotel waiter -- Robin Ray as the TV floor manager -- Lionel Blair as the TV choreographer -- Alison Seebohm as Dolly, Simon Marshall's secretary -- David Janson (as David Jaxon) as Charley, a young boy Ringo encounters -- Michael Trubshawe as the casino manager -- Margaret Nolan as the buxom girl at the casino -- Charlotte Rampling as a nightclub dancer -- Phil Collins as a schoolboy watching the Beatles' TV performance -- Derek Nimmo as Leslie Jackson, the magician Songs of A Hard Day's Night The film's credits state that all songs are composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. However, also heard in the film is a portion of "Don't Bother Me", a George Harrison composition. "A Hard Day's Night" (opening credits) "I Should Have Known Better" "I Wanna Be Your Man" "Don't Bother Me" "All My Loving" "If I Fell" "Can't Buy Me Love" "And I Love Her" "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You" "Ringo's Theme (This Boy)" "Can't Buy Me Love" "Tell Me Why" "If I Fell" (reprise) "I Should Have Known Better" (reprise) "She Loves You" "A Hard Day's Night" (reprise; closing credits) "I'll Cry Instead" was among several songs considered for the film, but ultimately not included either as an on-camera performance or for usage as an audio-only track. It was to be used during the fire escape sequence of the film, but ultimately director Richard Lester vetoed it because of its downbeat lyrics. It was replaced for that scene by "Can't Buy Me Love". The song "You Can't Do That" was filmed as part of the film's TV concert sequence, but was not included in the final cut of the film. The song "I Call Your Name" was cut from the film for unknown reasons. The Screenplay of A Hard Day's Night The screenplay was written by Alun Owen, who was chosen because the Beatles were familiar with his play No Trams to Lime Street, and he had shown an aptitude for Liverpudlian dialogue. McCartney commented: "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." Owen spent several days with the group, who told him their lives were like "a train and a room and a car and a room and a room and a room"; the character of Paul's grandfather refers to this in the dialogue. Owen wrote the script from the viewpoint that the Beatles had become prisoners of their own fame, with their schedule of performances and studio work having become punishing. The script comments cheekily on the Beatles' fame. At one point a fan, played by Anna Quayle, apparently recognises John Lennon, though she does not actually mention Lennon's name, saying only "you are...". He demurs, saying his face is not quite right for "him", initiating a surreal dialogue ending with the fan, after she puts on her glasses, agreeing that Lennon doesn't "look like him at all", and Lennon saying to himself that "she looks more like him than I do". Other dialogue is derived from actual interviews with the Beatles. When Ringo is asked if he's a mod or a rocker, he replies: "Uh, no, I'm a mocker", a line derived from a joke he made on the TV show Ready Steady Go!. The frequent reference to McCartney's grandfather (Wilfrid Brambell) as a "Clean old man" sets up a contrast with the stock description of Brambell's character, Albert Steptoe in Steptoe and Son, as a "Dirty old man". Audiences also responded to the Beatles' brash social impudence. Director Richard Lester said: "The general aim of the film was to present what was apparently becoming a social phenomenon in this country. Anarchy is too strong a word, but the quality of confidence that the boys exuded! Confidence that they could dress as they liked, speak as they liked, talk to the Queen as they liked, talk to the people on the train who 'fought the war for them' as they liked. Everything was still based on privilege—privilege by schooling, privilege by birth, privilege by accent, privilege by speech. The Beatles were the first people to attack this. They said if you want something, do it. You can do it. Forget all this talk about talent or ability or money or speech. Just do it." Despite the fact that the original working titles of the film were first The Beatles and then Beatlemania, the group's name is never spoken during the film - it is, however, visible on Ringo's drum kit, on the stage lighting, and on the helicopter in the final scene. The television performance scene also contains a visual pun on the group's name, with photos of beetles visible on the wall behind the dancers. The Production of A Hard Day's Night The film was shot for United Artists (UA) using a cinéma vérité style in black-and-white. The film was meant to be released in July 1964, and since it was already March when Lester got to filming, the entire film had to be produced over a period of sixteen weeks. It had a low budget for its time of £200,000 ($500,000) (equivalent to £4,082,800 in 2019) and filming was finished in under seven weeks, leaving the rest of the time for post-production. At first, the film itself was something of a secondary consideration for UA, whose primary interest was in being able to release the soundtrack album in the United States before Capitol Records (the American EMI affiliate who had first released Beatles music in the States) got around to issuing their material; in the words of Bud Ornstein, the European head of production for United Artists: "Our record division wants to get the soundtrack album to distribute in the States, and what we lose on the film we'll get back on this disc." As film historian Stephen Glynn put it, A Hard Day's Night was intended to be a low-budget exploitation film to milk the latest brief musical craze for all it was worth." Unlike most productions, it was filmed in near sequential order. Filming began on the 2nd. March 1964 at Marylebone station in London (sometimes misidentified as Paddington). The Beatles had joined the actors' union, Equity, only that morning. The first week of filming was on a train travelling between London and Minehead. On the 10th. March, scenes with Ringo were shot at the Turk's Head pub in Twickenham, and over the following week various interior scenes were filmed at Twickenham Studios. From the 23rd. to the 30th. March, filming moved to the Scala Theatre, and on the 31st. March, concert footage was shot there, although the group mimed to backing tracks. On the 17th. March and the 17th. April, scenes were shot at the Les Ambassadeurs Club in Mayfair. As noted above, the "Can't Buy Me Love" segment was shot on the 23rd. April 1964 at Thornbury Playing Fields, Isleworth. The final scene was filmed the following day in West Ealing, London, where Ringo obligingly drops his coat over puddles for a lady to step on, only to discover that the final puddle is actually a large hole in the road. Before A Hard Day's Night was released in America, a United Artists executive asked Lester to dub the voices of the group with mid-Atlantic accents. McCartney angrily replied: "Look, if we can understand a f***ing cowboy talking Texan, they can understand us talking Liverpool." Rooney Massara, who went on to compete in the 1972 Munich Olympics, was the sculler in the river in the "walkabout" scene by the river at Kew. George Harrison met his wife-to-be, Patricia Boyd, on the set when she made a brief (uncredited) appearance as one of the schoolgirls on the train. His initial overtures to her were spurned because she had a boyfriend at the time, but he persisted and they were married within 18 months. Phil Collins, later a member of the band Genesis, was an uncredited schoolboy extra in the concert audience. Success of A Hard Day's Night The film premiered at the Pavilion Theatre in London on the 6th. July 1964 - the eve of Ringo Starr's 24th. birthday - and the soundtrack was released four days later. A Hard Day's Night set records at the London Pavilion by grossing over $20,000 in the first week, ultimately becoming so popular that more than 1,600 prints were in circulation simultaneously. Critical Response to A Hard Day's Night Reviews of the film were mostly positive; one oft-quoted assessment was provided by Andrew Sarris of The Village Voice, labelling A Hard Day's Night as: "The Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals." When The Village Voice published the results of its first annual film poll, A Hard Day's Night was placed second behind Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove. On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 98% based on 107 reviews, with an average rating of 8.49/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "A Hard Day's Night, despite its age, is still a delight to watch and has proven itself to be a rock-and-roll movie classic." It is number four on Rotten Tomatoes' list of the Top Ten Musicals and Performing Arts films. On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 96 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Time magazine called the film: "One of the smoothest, freshest, funniest films ever made for purposes of exploitation." Film critic Roger Ebert described the film as: "One of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies". In 2004, Total Film magazine named A Hard Day's Night the 42nd. greatest British film of all time. In 2005, named it one of the 100 best films of the last 80 years. Leslie Halliwell gave the film his highest rating, four stars, the only British film of 1964 to achieve that accolade. The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther noted the film was a subtle satire on Beatlemania and the Beatles themselves. The Beatles are portrayed as likeable young lads who are constantly amazed at the attention they receive, and who want nothing more than a little peace and quiet; however, they have to deal with screaming crowds, journalists who ask nonsensical questions, and authority figures who constantly look down upon them. In fact, their biggest problem is McCartney's elderly, but "clean" grandfather, played by Wilfrid Brambell. The New Yorker critic Brendan Gill wrote: "Though I don't pretend to understand what makes these four rather odd-looking boys so fascinating to so many scores of millions of people, I admit that I feel a certain mindless joy stealing over me as they caper about uttering sounds." A Hard Day's Night was nominated for two Academy Awards: for Best Screenplay (Alun Owen), and Best Score (Adaptation) (George Martin). By 1971, the film was estimated to have earned $11 million worldwide (equivalent to $69,443,700 in 2019). The Influence of A Hard Day's Night British critic Leslie Halliwell states that: "The film led directly to all the kaleidoscopic swinging London spy thrillers and comedies of the later sixties". In particular, the visuals and storyline are credited with inspiring The Monkees' television series. The "Can't Buy Me Love" segment borrowed stylistically from Richard Lester's earlier The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film, and it is this segment, in particular using the contemporary technique of cutting the images to the beat of the music, which has been cited as a precursor of modern music videos. Roger Ebert goes even further, crediting Lester with a more pervasive influence, even constructing a new grammar: "Lester influenced many other films. Today when we watch TV and see quick cutting, hand-held cameras, interviews conducted on the run with moving targets, quickly intercut snatches of dialogue, music under documentary action and all the other trademarks of the modern style, we are looking at the children of A Hard Day's Night". Film theorist James Monroe writes: "The lively 1960's films of Richard Lester - especially his Musicals A Hard Day's Night (1964), Help! (1965), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) - popularized jump cuts, rapid and 'ungrammatical' cutting. Over time, his brash editorial style became a norm, now celebrated every night around the world in hundreds of music videos on MTV and in countless commercials." A Hard Day's Night also inspired a 1965 film featuring Gerry and the Pacemakers, entitled Ferry Cross the Mersey. In an interview for the DVD re-release of A Hard Day's Night, Lester said he had been labelled the father of MTV, and had jokingly responded by asking for a paternity test. The Title of A Hard Day's Night The film's title originated from something said by Ringo Starr, who described it this way in an interview with disc jockey Dave Hull in 1964: "We went to do a job, and we'd worked all day and we happened to work all night. I came up still thinking it was day I suppose, and I said, 'It's been a hard day ...' and I looked around and saw it was dark so I said, '... night!' So we came to A Hard Day's Night." According to Lennon in a 1980 interview with Playboy magazine: "I was going home in the car, and Dick Lester suggested the title, 'Hard Day's Night' from something Ringo had said. I had used it in In His Own Write, but it was an off-the-cuff remark by Ringo. You know, one of those malapropisms. A Ringo-ism, where he said it not to be funny... he just said it. So Dick Lester said, 'We are going to use that title.'" In a 1994 interview for The Beatles Anthology, however, McCartney disagreed with Lennon's recollections, recalling that it was the Beatles, and not Lester, who had come up with the idea of using Starr's verbal misstep: "The title was Ringo's. We'd almost finished making the film, and this fun bit arrived that we'd not known about before, which was naming the film. So we were sitting around at Twickenham studios having a little brain-storming session ... and we said, 'Well, there was something Ringo said the other day.' Ringo would do these little malapropisms, he would say things slightly wrong, like people do, but his were always wonderful, very lyrical ... they were sort of magic even though he was just getting it wrong. And he said after a concert, 'Phew, it's been a hard day's night.'" Regardless of which of these origin stories is the true one, the original tentative title for the film had been "Beatlemania", and when the new title was agreed upon, it became necessary to write and quickly record a new title song, which was completed on the 16th. April, just eight days before filming was finished. John Lennon wrote the song in one night, (credited to Lennon-McCartney) basing the lyrics on a birthday card sent to his young son Julian, and it went on to win a Grammy for Best Performance by a Vocal Group. The Novelisation of A Hard Day's Night In 1964, Pan Books published a novelisation of the film by author John Burke, described as "based on the original screenplay by Alun Owen". The book was priced at two shillings and sixpence, and contained an 8-page section of photographs from the film. It is the first book in the English language to have the word 'grotty' in print. 'A World Without Love' Also on the 23rd. April 1964, the UK chart number one was A World Without Love by Peter and Gordon.

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