"Robert Zemeckis' I Wanna Hold Your Hand captures the time that was Beatlemania, February 1964. Who better to capture a time than Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg as executive producer helping out to bring out the authenticity to the period? The film was made 14 years after the event, and at the same time, when all the flurry of an immanent Beatles reunion was circulating around and Beatlemania was hitting Broadway. This film was a reflection of the baby boomers possibly turning 30 and their commemoration or celebration of their wild and crazy times where they lived for hysteria, that is, before the drug-hallucinations and San Francisco's Haight Ashbury would converge on the happy-go-lucky Hullabaloo and Shindig era, or in this case, Sunday night with Ed Sullivan and his circus of stars.
Nonetheless, I Wanna Hold Your Hand is not about the period of innocence, but rather the hype and the mass distribution of Beatles paraphenalia that occurred during the time - Beatles bedsheets, sneakers, or baby powder. The film had several hilarious moments as captured by the six New Jersey teenagers who hitch a ride to New York with one teenager taking his father's hearst as his only means of transportation in order to catch a glimpse of their Liverpudlian idols. For the female character played by Nancy Allen, she was the fortunate one - she was able to get into the four lads' hotel room. Unfortunately, it eventually put her in hot water as well with her fiancé where she broke off the engagement, but received two tickets to the Sullivan show. Though this is the purely a fantasy, the teenagers succeed at the end of the film.
The movie is definitely a recreation of the period with the early Beatle tunes blaring during the opening credits of the film, the screaming girls, and the general atmosphere with the cars and the clothes as well as the typical parent frowning down on these "long-haired" boys from England. I Wanna Hold Your Hand could have been any teenager's story, but with the magic of movies, these five teenagers had their dreams come true for one day and one night. "
One of the Best "Fictional" Beatles Movies ever Made
Howard Lee | Washington, DC USA | 10/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This unknown gem of a movie from director Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump; Back To The Future; Castaway; Roger Rabbit" to name some) and Executive Produced by Steven Spielberg (now I know I don't have to supply THAT resume) is one of the best films ever made, and surprisingly, many moviegoers have not heard of, nor seen this film. It truly transports you back to 1964, during the height of the Beatlemania craze, when Ed Sullivan first introduced the Beatles on TV to the USA.
I wasn't born until after that time, but I love Beatles music, and this movie creatively uses not only their actual songs, but shots from the real, initial Ed Sullivan broadcast to comprise the film. Their songs and shots wrap around one of the most clever script plotlines ever devised, of a group of teenagers trying to see the Beatles in-person themselves. You have to see it to understand it.
I laughed out loud, and although some of the humor in the movie is way over the top, it's all hysterical, and makes you wish that you could go back in time and become a Beatles fanatic in NYC during that era. The cast is dead on...and it's a shame that many of the actors in this film never became household names. They're excellent and make the material believable.
If you're not a fan of the Beatles, or too young to understand this moment in history, it won't matter. "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" is really an homage to anyone and everyone who has had a wild crush on a musical group, or rock star, and has had the ultimate fantasy of meeting that artist in person.
The zany shenanigans in this plot are ingenius. Ultimately, this movie proves why Robert Zemeckis went on to such a major career. A MUST SEE!
ABOUT THE DVD: Great commentary, although filled with some pauses - the picture quality is decent despite the fact that this does not look like an impeccable transfer. (there is some grain that is inherent from probably the original film stock - (hey, it's from the 1970's) It's enhanced for 16 x 9 TV sets, so it looked good on my widescreen HDTV. The DVD also includes some black and white production pics.
Ultimately, catch this not on cable, but on DVD, because it looks much better, and it's not cut up by commercial breaks. (this is a hard movie to rent and find through somewhere like Blockbuster)"
A Splendid Time is Guaranteed For All...
C. Johnson | Los Angeles, CA | 12/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Really, I'm serious!
I watched this film with two friends: one who loves the Beatles, one who can't stand the Beatles, and all three of us had a complete *blast*.
Why? Because it's a riotous two of hours of zany, crazy, hillarious fun. The chemistry between the kids in the film is fantastic, and it covers all angles of the events of that insane February in 1964: from the over the edge obsessed 'Rosie' to the death-to-the-beatles 'Smirko'. The film even spends time focusing on the issue of kids vs. parents in putting in a sub plot about an enraged father stopping at nothing to get his son to cut his hair like a 'marine' and not a 'girl.'
And *that* is why the film is a gem, because in two hours it beautifully capsules an entire chapter in western pop culture when everything seemed to be turned completely on its head. Even if you can't stand the beatles you will surely have a great time with the movie if for no other reason that it's a terrific and surprisingly well made romp back in time!
(And it might even convert the non-believer... my beatle hater friend softened considerably after watching the climactic 'Ed Sullivan show' segment of the film... she said it was, to quote, 'awesome.')
Totally charming film!
nom-de-nick | United States | 02/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Probably the only film I ever enjoyed Nancy Allen in.... Seriously, the movie manages to PERFECTLY capture the still semi-sedate early 60s with the changes Beatlemania brought about. If you were fortunate enough to have lived through that period, this will hit the mark dead-on. If you weren't, you may learn something about the older folks. Worth seeing several times"
This is a great movie that people of all ages can enjoy!
nom-de-nick | 02/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I Wanna Hold Your Hand is a very entertaining movie that I would recommend to people of all generations. It is comical and will especially please Beatles fans. I could watch the movie over and over and not get bored. The plot is clever and well-written and will keep you wanting to watch the movie."