The Beatles

The Making of a Hard Day's Night

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Hosted by Phil Collins (who as a child was in the audience in the final concert film scene in A Hard Day's Night), this is a well-done, entertaining 65-minute documentary of how the Beatles' first movie was conceived and produced. It features interviews with most of the key figures in the film's production: director Richard Lester, producer Walter Shenson, script writer Alun Owen, supporting cast member Victor Spinetti. In fact, the only key voices missing are the Beatles themselves, although fragments of taped recollections from George Harrison and John Lennon are used over some scenes. There are plenty of relatively little-known anecdotes, such as the genesis of the film's title, the quick overnighting songwriting session resulting in the theme song, and the fact that it was originally commissioned because United Artists wanted a soundtrack to sell. Hardcore Beatle fans will be pleased by the chance to see a performance of "You Can't Do That" that was cut from the final concert scene, as well as a daft promo trailer with the Beatles in baby carriages that was not shown in the U.S.