The fabbest, gearest rock 'n' roll movie ever committed to celluloid, A Hard Day's Night pretty much invented the genre, helped inspire the modern music video and spawned a slew of lame imitators (Spice World, anyone?). The threadbare plot--a day in the life of John, Paul, George and Ringo as they dodge crazed fans, try to keep Paul's loose-cannon grandfather in check and play an Ed Sullivan-esque variety show--is just an excuse to showcase the mop tops' Marx Brothers-like loopiness and, especially, their music.
Some bits are dated, but for a 36-year-old, the film holds up amazingly well. This spiffed-up print restores the glorious black and white of director Richard Lester's free-form, cinema verité camera work. Best of all, the soundtrack, which includes such classic cuts as the title track, "And I Love Her" and "Can't Buy Me Love," has been digitally enhanced, putting you in the middle of the music. Without question, this is a Night to remember.