Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A Hard Day's Night announced by Criterion

Finally announced by Criterion. New cover by Rodrigo Corral

Finally, the official word on this. Criterion just announced this title for June 24th, along with the cover depicted above.
"Meet the Beatles! 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. A Hard Day’s Night, 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 reconceived the movie musical and exerted an incalculable influence on the music video, is one of the most deliriously entertaining movies of all time."

United Kingdom
87 minutes
Black and White
Spine #711

So, looks like they messed up the aspect ratio after all...

Disc Features:
  • New 4K digital film restoration, approved by director Richard Lester, with two audio options—a monaural soundtrack and a new 5.1 surround soundtrack made by Apple Records—presented in uncompressed monaural and DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray (dual-format only) 
  • Audio commentary featuring various members of the film’s cast and crew (dual-format only)
  • In Their Own Voices, a new piece combining interviews with the Beatles from 1964 with behind-the-scenes footage and photos
  • You Can’t Do That: The Making of “A Hard Day’s Night,” a 1994 documentary program by producer Walter Shenson
  • Things They Said Today, a 2002 documentary about the film featuring Lester, music producer George Martin, writer Alun Owen, cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, and others (dual-format only)
  • New piece about Lester’s early work, featuring a new audio interview with the director (dual-format only)
  • The Running Jumping and Standing Still Film (1959), Lester’s Oscar-nominated short featuring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan (dual-format only)
  • Anatomy of a Style, a new piece on Lester’s approach to editing (dual-format only)
  • New interview with Mark Lewisohn, author of Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years—Volume One (dual-format only)
  • Deleted scene (dual-format only)
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Howard Hampton
So it looks like you'll have to get the dual edition (=DVD and Blu-ray in one box) to get it all. The price isn't at all bad, $31.96 from Criterion's Web shop, $15.96 for the standard DVD.

"Deleted scene" is intriguing, could it be "You Can't Do That" or something completely different? Paul's solo scene?
Criterion's official page is here.



Any notice about subtitles?

NP said...

The deleted scene is stills and commentary, like the 'deleted scene' in Help! The off cuts were destroyed in 1968.

Brian Fried said...

Too bad about the aspect ratio — that was the one thing that I looked forward to most. Any chance someone can confirm with Criterion why they're going with the widescreen ratio for a film that wasn't truly widescreen?

Caveman said...

Yes, this aspect ratio thing is curious. Criterion calls this a director approved edition. Maybe this is a preference of Dick Lester's?

DirectorDonP said...

1.66:1 is a little less widescreen than the supposed original projection of 1.75:1. So in actuality, we get to see a little bit more of the top and bottom of the frame.It should be remembered that although the film was shot with the frame open (1.37:1) - it was not intended to be projected that way.

DirectorDonP said...

I assume the music clip of 'You Can't do That" will still be included as part of the documentary, 'You Can't Do That: The Making of A Hard day's Night' (otherwis they'd have to change the title!) . Unfortunately, as that documentary was produced in SD, we may not see an HD upgrade of this clip (the only known existing outtake, existing because it was sent to Ed Sullivan to be screened).

That Funky Dude said...

I've read that Criterion only sells DVDs with a Region 1 lock. They can only be played on American players. Is this true? If so, will it be released by different companies as well for different countries? Does anyone know?

Roger Stormo said...

I believe the UK edition by Second Sight Films has yet to be announced properly, but Second Sight has confirmed that they are releasing it without giving any details.