Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

A Hard Day's Night (1964)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

A Hard Day's Night (1964, UK)

In Richard Lester's kinetic and influential, cinema verite music-video documentary about Beatlemania - the first Beatle film about a "day in the life":

  • the opening montage scene of the Beatles being besieged by a stampede of frenzied schoolgirl fans on their travels from their hometown of Liverpool to London to perform in a TV broadcast, and their retreat to a train station
  • Paul's meeting and encounter with an unimpressed, middle-aged gentleman (his fictional "Grandfather" John McCartney) (Wilfred Brambell), who was on their London-bound train in the first-class cabin; Paul told John: "He's very clean" (an oft-repeated line) and described him as "a villain, a real mixer"
  • the scene in the train compartment when proper, commuting city business-man Johnson (Richard Vernon) complained about their loud radio - with John's coo-ed line to him as he leaned over: "Give us a kiss!"; Johnson asserted: "I fought the war for your sort" - John impudently joked back: "I'll bet you're sorry you won"
  • the group's dry, dismissive one-liners when interviewed by the press with nonsensical questions: John Lennon's answer about how he found America: ("Turned left at Greenland"); Ringo's answers to questions: "Are you a mod or a rocker?" "Uh, no, I'm a mocker"; and "What do you call that collar?" "A collar"; and George's answers: "Has success changed your life?" "Yes" and "What would you call that hairstyle you're wearing?" "Arthur"
  • Ringo's solitary misadventures, and "walkabout" wanderings around London as he snapped pictures - into a clothing store, strolling alongside a canal, in a pub; and along the way, the comic scene of Ringo offering his coat to cover muddy puddles for a lady to cross over, only to discover that the third puddle was a deep hole; he was apprehended by police for "wandering abroad, malicious intent, acting in a suspicious manner, conduct liable to cause a breach of the peace - you name it, he's done it"
Ringo's Wanderings Around London
  • the hit songs played in various locations - such as an open field ("Can't Buy Me Love"), with the Beatles creatively filmed partly from a helicopter and with hand-held cameras - a precursor to modern, quick-cutting music videos with images matching the beat of the music
  • the climactic scene of the TV broadcast before an audience of screaming young teenagers, mostly girls, and afterwards backstage, Norm (Norman Rossington) (the group's manager) repeating the recurring insult to John: ("You're a swine") - and the group's run to an awaiting helicopter (to fly to another concert), with the hand-cuffed Grandfather inside shouting: "Come on, you're hanging up the parade!" - while Paul yelled back (the film's last line) about a stack of personally autographed photographs of the band on his lap: "Get rid of those things" - and as they ascended, the pictures floated downward

Escaping from Fans

Paul's Very-Clean "Grandfather" on Train

John to Businessman: "Give us a kiss!"

John: "Turned left at Greenland"

TV Broadcast Before Screaming Fans


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z