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Musique: John Lennon • Paul McCartney • Paroles: Livret: Alun Owen • Production originale: 1 version mentionnée
Dispo: Résumé Génèse Liste chansons
A Hard Day's Night is a 1964 British-American 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.
Genèse: Screenplay 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, their schedule of performances and studio work having become punishing. The script comments cheekily on the Beatles' fame. For instance, 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 in 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. Production 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 £4,082,788 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 to 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 shot at releasing 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 as "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, as stated by Lennon in 1964. Filming began on 2 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 10 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 23 to 30 March, filming moved to the Scala Theatre, and on 31 March, concert footage was shot there, although the group mimed to backing tracks. On the 17 March and the 17 April scenes were shot at the Les Ambassadeurs Club in Mayfair. The "Can't Buy Me Love" segment, which featured creative camera work and the band running and jumping around in a field was shot on 23 April 1964 at Thornbury Playing Fields, Isleworth, Middlesex. 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 fucking cowboy talking Texan, they can understand us talking Liverpool." Lester subsequently directed the Beatles' 1965 film, Help!. The film's costumes—except for those of the Beatles themselves—were designed by Julie Harris. The clothes of the Beatles were credited to Dougie Millings & Son. Casting Irish actor Wilfrid Brambell, who played Paul McCartney's fictional grandfather John McCartney, was already well known to British television audiences as co-star of the British sitcom Steptoe and Son. The recurring joke that he was very "clean" reflects a contrast to his sitcom role, where he was always referred to as a "dirty old man". In other roles, Norman Rossington played the Beatles' manager Norm, John Junkin played the group's road manager Shake, and Victor Spinetti played the television director. Brian Epstein, the group's real manager, had an uncredited bit part. The supporting cast included Richard Vernon as the "city gent" on the train and Lionel Blair as a featured dancer. There were also various cameos. John Bluthal played a car thief and an uncredited Derek Nimmo appeared as magician Leslie Jackson. David Janson (billed as David Jaxon here) played the small boy met by Ringo on his "walkabout". 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 (uncredited). Kenneth Haigh appeared as an advertising executive who mistakes George for a "new phenomenon." David Langton also made a cameo appearance as an actor in the dressing room scene. Mal Evans, one of the Beatles' road managers, also appears briefly in the film—moving an upright bass through a tight hallway as Lennon talks with the woman who mistakes him for someone else. 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. The girl with Boyd in the dining car scene is Prudence Bury. Phil Collins, later a member of the band Genesis, was an uncredited schoolboy extra in the concert audience and would subsequently go on to be a very successful musician in his own right. Playing the buxom woman with Paul's grandfather in the casino scene was popular British 1960s pinup model Margaret Nolan (aka Vicky Kennedy), who also appeared as "Dink", the golden girl during the opening credits of the James Bond film Goldfinger, later that same year. Cut for BBFC The film had to be edited slightly to obtain the U certificate for British cinemas. The phrase "get knotted" (allegedly in reel 7 of the original submission) was judged inappropriate for a U film and had to be removed. When the film was submitted for release on VHS, the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) could not locate the phrase and presumed that the clip was "pre-cut", but stated that the phrase was no longer of any concern. The BBFC noted a number of innuendos and one subtle reference to cocaine, but concluded that it was still within the "natural category" for a U certificate.
Résumé: 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 on as planned, after which the Beatles are whisked away to another performance via helicopter.
Création: 6/7/1964 - *** Film (***) - représ.
Musique: John Lennon • Paroles: John Lennon • Livret: Don Scardino • Production originale: 1 version mentionnée
Dispo: Commentaire Génèse Liste chansons
Genèse: The "$7 million bio-musical" first opened in San Francisco, California in April 2005. After what The Times described as "a troubled try-out in San Francisco, a cancelled run in Boston and a radical rewrite", it had 42 previews and 49 performances on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre from 14 August to 24 September 2005. The role of Lennon is played by performers of both sexes and different ages and skin colours, an approach Scardino said was inspired by "I Am the Walrus" where Lennon writes, "I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together." This use of multiple actors was scaled back after the San Francisco production, with the final rewrite having a single actor narrating Lennon's story. Yoko Ono was actively involved in the production, retaining final script approval and requiring the show's Broadway producers to complete the script and present it to her live (albeit in workshop format). The show's credits included the phrase "With Special Thanks to Yoko Ono Lennon"; Ono was frequently seen at the theatre during the show's Broadway run. The limited use of Beatles songs, attributed to creative choices and not licensing issues, led critics to dismiss the work as "Ono-centric". Ono was unapologetic about the choice: "If we put Yesterday in, it's not really fair to the Beatles because we're leaning on their power. We're talking about John now, thank you." She later said "It is definitely John's story – from Liverpool 1940 to New York 1980. I am the B-side, and that's how it should be. I think he would have loved it." The musical also conspicuously omitted any mention of May Pang, Lennon's lover for a period of 18 months in the years 1974–75 when the singer was separated from Ono.
Création: 14/8/2005 - Broadhurst Theatre (Broadway) - 49 représ.