A Hard Day's Night is "among the five best movie musicals I've ever seen," says Roger Ebert, "right up there with Singin' in the Rain." That ringing endorsement of the most famous film from rock's most famous group, the B... more »eatles, is only one of the testimonials recorded in You Can't Do That: The Making of "A Hard Day's Night." This engrossing 1994 documentary is hosted by Phil Collins, who actually appeared in the original among a crowd of frenzied teenagers at the theater where the songs were filmed. There's plenty of behind-the-scenes footage, and producer Walter Shenson, director Richard Lester, and screenwriter Alun Owen, among others, contribute comments, which are occasionally punctuated by brief clips from the film (à la HBO's 1990s series Dream On). Micky Dolenz, Roger McGuinn, and Beatles fans are also interviewed, and George Harrison's voice is heard briefly. Filmed at the height of Beatlemania shortly after their 1964 trip to the U.S., A Hard Day's Night was conceived as an excuse to release a soundtrack album. But while nine songs were written, only seven were used in the film, and for many fans the chief item of interest here will be the inclusion of one unused performance, "You Can't Do That," shown partially during the documentary, then in its entirety as an epilogue. --David Horiuchi« less
"With the "A Hard Day's Night" DVD currently out of print, Bealtes fans have had to make due with the DVDs presented in this dubious "Collector's Set." All are available separately, so save you dollars! As much as I love the group, I see little reason to own "Magical Mystery Tour" on DVD. The "documentary" of the making of AHDN isn't bad, but my VHS copy will suffice. Which leaves "Help!" and "...Their First US Visit." Personally, I'm holding out for the deluxe editions of the feature films. Hello Criterion? You did a nice laser disc of AHDN, where's the DVD? And how about a proper "making of" documentary, with more Lester and less Phil Collins? "Help!" is a great film, but would also benefit from similar additional first-hand recollections. Which leaves "The Beatles: Their First US Visit." Of this foursome (pending the arrival of an expanded "Help!" DVD), this is the only true must-have disc: a cinema verite look at Beatlemania from the boys' perspectives (...a car, a room, a car, a room...), beautifully observed by the Maysles brothers in 1964. The Ed Sullivan show bits are wonderful, but my favorite moment is John noodling on the melodica, playing what you'll recognize as the intro to "Strawberry Fields Forever." This documentary is a rare, amazing glimpse into a world we'll never see again. I'm saving my money for the Anthology DVDs slated for late 2000/early 2001."
I had no idea
Robert Chapman | Las Vegas, NV USA | 09/14/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I had no idea I was so lucky to have a DVD copy of Hard Day's Night.
This is just another repackaging of stuff already released. Most
Beatle fans know too much about that.As for the individual titles,
Help is an excellent movie. The big buget sequel to A Hard Day's
Night. Magical Mystery Tour is really, really sad. When it was
released origially for TV in Britian it was supposed to air twice but
after poor ratings was not rerun. It was only run on American TV once
in black and white. The one good thing about Magical Mystery Tour is
that it was digitally restored from the original film stock and the
soundtrack was remastered in digital stereo. I had a copy of Magical
Mystery Tour released in the 80's by Media Home Entertainment, and it
was pretty much bootleg quality.The First U.S. Visit is an
excellent documentary. It begins with the Beatles landing at JFK
airport for their fist U.S. Tour. Then they are off for their first
appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. It has footage from their first
live concert in America in Washington D.C. It then follows them on
the historic train ride to Miami for their second appearance on the Ed
Sullivan Show. One of the best sequences is on the train when John
and Paul are very tired of mugging for the cameras but George is going
crazy. Little did they know at the time that they would be under the
microscope from then on!!The making of Hard Day's Night is just ok.
Like someone else said, "less Phil Collins, more
info..."I need to see Let It Be on DVD and the making of Let
It Be. Let It be is over two weeks of informal jamming boiled down to
about an hour and a half.Bottom line is buy this release if you
don't have any of the titles in it. It makes a fair starter
collection of Beatle DVDs.
Another gripe; and where is 'Compleat Beatles?'
Christopher Molanphy | Brooklyn, NY USA | 08/08/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Add mine to the list of Beatlemaniacs underwhlemed by the selections in this set. (Consider my rating an average of five stars for the films and one star for this box itself.)Like pbfey, despite my fanaticism, I see no need to own 'MMT' on disc until somebody cleans up the video further and makes a "What the heck were they thinking?" making-of featurette to go with it. (Cue Ringo: "Yeah, it sooked, but Brian was gone, and we were all so wasted...") I already have 'AHDN' on DVD (thanks to eBay), as well as 'Help!' And when 'AHDN' is finally back in print, folding in the 'You Can't Do That!' making-of would be the egalitarian thing to do.I hope you're right about the 'Anthology' coming to DVD by early '01, pbfey, but you know what I'm really hankering for? The modest 1982 MGM documentary 'The Compleat Beatles.' This PBS pledge-drive staple is, at two hours, the tightest, most all-around entertaining Fabs documentary ever -- a much easier watch than the essential but bloated 'Anthology.' (Many a rainy day at home has been rejuvenated by my umpteenth watching of 'Compleat.') It's now completely out of print, even on VHS, so I must continue to rely on my mossy tape copy. Crazy as this sounds, I'd take a DVD of that little flick over almost anything else Beatles-related at this point. But I suspect it's not an MGM or an MPI priority, so I'm not holding my breath."
A must-have for any Beatle fan
J. Gibson | United States | 05/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I became a Beatle fan thanks to my mother. She had told me for years how good the movie "Help!" was. Finally, she found the DVD and bought it.
I was an instant fan!
Help!, one of the DVD's included in this set is a thoroughly delightful movie with a fantastic soundtrack. Anyone with a love for British comedy will also love this movie.
Also included with this set is Magical Mystery Tour, You Can't Do That!: The Making of A Hard Day's Night and The Beatles: The First US Visit. All three, combined with Help!, are well worth the cost of this four DVD set.
MPI Video who held the rights to the Beatles DVD's stopped selling them as of January 1, 2001. That is such a sad thing because there is so much entertainment contained in this set and in all Beatles movies.
I highly recommend searching for this title through online auctions or other avenues.
You will not be disappointed with The Ultimate Collection!!"
R. McDaniel | Memphis, TN USA | 08/03/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Speaking as someone who already owns three of these titles on DVD, this box set makes no sense at all. "A Hard Day's Night" would be the only reason to buy it, and it's missing. Surely it will be available again, as will "Let It Be" I hope, so I will wait till they assemble ALL the Beatles movies before buying a set of them."