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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Beatles No. 1" )

directed by Richard Lester
UK 1964

In 1964, the Beatles had just recently exploded onto the American scene with their debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The group's first feature, the Academy Award-nominated "A Hard Day's Night," offered fans their first peek into a day in the life of the Beatles and served to establish the Fab Four on the silver screen, as well as to inspire the music video format. Songs: I'll Cry Instead, A Hard Day's Night, I Should've Known Better, Can't Buy Me Love, If I Fell, And I Love Her, I'm Happy Just to Dance with You, Ringo's Theme (This Boy), Tell Me Why, Don't Bother Me, I Wanna Be Your Man, All My Lovin', She Loves You.

 

The strikingly original classic captures all the fun, excitement, and unforgettable music of John, Paul, George, and Ringo at the height of Beatlemania. It's a wildly irreverent day in the life of the world's great rock 'n' roll band. As they prepare for a big TV appearance, the Beatles perform their songs, look for adventure ... and try in vain to keep Paul's mischief-making grandfather out of trouble ... all while avoiding hordes of screaming fans. Packed with all-time Beatle favorites including "A Hard Day's Night," "All My Loving," "Can't Buy Me Love," "I Should've Known Better," "She Loves You," and "Tell Me Why," director Richard Lester's groundbreaking motion picture collaboration with the "Fab Four" is itself a treasured piece of rock history that remains influential to this day.

Promo Material

Theatrical Release: July 6, 1964

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Comparison:

MPI (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Enrique B Chamorro for all the DVD Screen Caps!

PLACE mouse above above image!

1) MPI (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

also available at a higher price from:

Distribution

MPI (OOP)

Region 0 - NTSC

Miramax
Region 1 - NTSC

Alliance (Universal)

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Criterion - Spine # 711 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 90 min. 92 min. 1:27:48.029 1:27:39.254
Video

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.75 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.40 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1080i / 29.970 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size:  22,024,090,758 bytes

Feature: 13,790,085,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 15.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,812,111,986 bytes

Feature: 22,236,266,496 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.11 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes

Bitrate:

MPI (OOP)

Bitrate:

 

Miramax

 

Bitrate: Alliance

 

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Criterion

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio English dialogue DD 1.0 and songs in DD 2.0, French & Spanish DD 1.0

English DD 2.0, French DD 1.0

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3818 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3818 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3987 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3987 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, Spanish, French English, none None English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MPI (OOP)

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 1982 photo montage prologue set to I'll Cry Instead 2 min.
• British newsreel Beatlemania grips Gotham 1 min.
• British newsreel Beatles get show biz top award 3:45 min.
• 1981 Re-release trailer 2:22 min.
• MPI's trailer for The First US Visit 1:45 min.
• MPI's trailer for You Can't Do That! 1:45 min.
• MPI's trailer for Help! 2:37 min.
• MPI's trailer for Magical Mystery Tour 1:32 min.
• 9 text screens on the restoration process
• 6 text bios on the filmmakers & Support cast
• 60's Interview with director Richard Lester 3:22 min.
• Lester's short film Running, Jumping & Standing Still
• 4 page insert

DVD Release Date: 11/15/97
Plastic Keepcase

Chapters 29

Release Information:
Studio: Miramax

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Documentary - Things They Said Today 36:16 min.
• DVD-Rom Features - Screenplay, Scrapbook, etc.
• 25 Featurettes on disc 2 - over 2.5 hours of short interviews
• Their Production Will Be Second to None: Interviews With The Filmmakers
• With the Beatles: The Cast
• Working Like a Dog: Production Crew
• Busy Working Overtime: Post Production Crew
• Listen to the Music Playing in Your Head: Sir George Martin
• Such a Clean Old Man! Memories of Wilfrid Brambell
• I've Lost My Little Girl: Isla Blair Interview
• Taking Testimonial Pictures: Robert Freeman, Photographer
• Dressed to the Hilt: Costume Design
• Dealing With The Men From the Press: Tony Barrow, The Beatles Publicist
• They and I Have Memories: Klaus Voorman, lifelong friend
• Hitting the Big Time in the USA: Sid Berman, promoter

DVD Release Date: 09/24/02
Digipack

Chapters 14

Release Information:
Studio:
Alliance (Universal)

1080i / 29.970 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size:  22,024,090,758 bytes

Feature: 13,790,085,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 15.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• "Things They Said Today ..." (36:18)
• "Their Production Will Be Second To None" -- Interviews With The Filmmakers (Director Richard Lester, Musical Director Sir George Martin, Associate Producer Denis O'Dell, Studio Executive David Picker)
• "With The Beatles" -- Cast (John Junkin, Lionel Blair, Kenneth Haigh, David Janson, Anna Quayle, Jeremy Lloyd, Terry Hooper)
• "Working Like A Dog" -- The Production Crew (Gilbert Taylor BSC, Paul Wilson, Betty Glasow, Barrie Melrose)
• "Busy Working Overtime" -- Post Production Crew (Pam Tomling & Roy Benson, Gordon Daniels & Jim Roddan)
• "Listen To The Music Playing In Your Head" -- Sir George Martin On The HDN Songs
• "Such A Clean Old Man!" -- Memories of Wilfrid Brambell
• "I've Lost My Little Girl" -- Isla Blair Interview
• "Taking Testimonial Pictures" -- Robert Freeman Interview
• "Dressed To The Hilt" -- Gordon Millings Interview
• "Dealing With 'The Men From The Press'" -- Tony Barrow Interview
• "They And I Have Memories" -- Klaus Voorman Interview
• "Hitting The Big Time In The USA" -- Sid Bernstein Interview

Blu-ray Release Date: September 9th, 2009
Standard Blu-ray inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

Aspect Ratio: 1.75:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,812,111,986 bytes

Feature: 22,236,266,496 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.11 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary featuring cast and crew
• In Their Own Voices, a new piece combining 1964 interviews with the Beatles with behind-the-scenes footage and photos (18:02)
• “You Can’t Do That”: The Making of “A Hard Day’s Night,” a 1994 documentary by producer Walter Shenson including an outtake performance by the Beatles (1:02:10)
• Things They Said Today, a 2002 documentary about the film featuring Lester, music producer George Martin, screenwriter Alun Owen, and cinematographer Gilbert Taylor (36:17)
• Picturewise, a new piece about Lester’s early work, featuring a new audio interview with the director (27:13)
• The Running Jumping & Standing-Still Film (1960), Lester’s Oscar-nominated short (11:11)
• Anatomy of a Style, a new piece on Lester’s methods (17:07)
• New interview with author Mark Lewisohn (27:14)

• 2000 Re-Release Trailer (2:00)

• Re-Release Trailer (1:39)
• PLUS: An essay by critic Howard Hampton and excerpts from a 1970 interview with Lester

 

NOTE: The include DVD, also sold separately, does not have many of the extras of the Blu-ray.

Blu-ray
Release Date: June 24th, 2014
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters 20

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION - Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray June 2014: Wow - what a set. Criterion have produced one of the year's best in their Beatles' A Hard Day's Night Blu-ray package. This is transferred at 1.75:1, gaining some information on the side edges but losing a shade on the top and bottom (as compared to the 1.66:1). This is stated as being a "New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Richard Lester". It is transferred in 1080P and, as the compared screen captures indicate, is improved over the interlaced, and muddier, Alliance. Contrast is notably superior bringing up better detail and a crisper image. Also, pleasing textures are present on the Criterion. It, appropriately, looks fabulous.

Of course the bigger news than the video is the audio. Criterion give us a real treat. There are three audio options—a monaural linear PCM soundtrack as well as newly created stereo and 5.1 DTS-HD Master at a whopping 3987 kbps, plus an uncompressed stereo track (LPCM). The Surround mixes are supervised by sound producer Giles Martin at Abbey Road Studios. So we get uncompressed monaural, uncompressed stereo, and a very robust DTS-HD Master Audio. I wish there was some way to tell you how great it sounds. The guitars in, for example, "And I Love Her" are so beautifully crisp and deep. The Beatles' music has never sounded so rich and full to my ears. I loved the Alliance sound, but this ratchets up another notch with a more resonant, clean sound plus the multiple audio options to indulge in endlessly. I found it easily in advance of the re-mastered Beatles CDs which I own (in both a Mono and Stereo Boxsets) and better than most of my SACD collection (albeit, no Beatles in SACD). It has optional English subtitles on the Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Extras are totally stacked. Criterion include an audio commentary featuring cast and crew, created from material produced by Martin Lewis in 2002. It has actors John Junkin, David Janson, and Jeremy Lloyd; cinematographer Gilbert Taylor; associate producer Denis O'Dell; second assistant director Barrie Melrose; assistant editors Pamela Tomling and Roy Benson; and others. In Their Own Voices, a new, 18-minute piece combining 1964, American Tour, interviews with the Beatles with behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film, and photos and audiio recordings of the Beatles detailing their views on their first movie. “You Can’t Do That”: The Making of “A Hard Day’s Night,” a 1994 documentary by producer Walter Shenson including an outtake performance by the Beatles. It runs over an hour and is hosted by musician Phil Collins, and was made to mark the thirtieth anniversary of A Hard Day's Night and features an outtake performance. Things They Said Today, is a, 36-minute, 2002 documentary about the film featuring Lester, music producer George Martin, screenwriter Alun Owen, and cinematographer Gilbert Taylor and other members of the film's cast and crew. Picturewise runs 27-minutes and is a new piece about Lester’s early work, featuring a new audio interview with the director. It is narrated by Rita Tushingham, and looks at the influence on and impact of the early work of the director. The Running Jumping & Standing-Still Film was made in 1960 and runs 11-minutes. It is Lester’s Oscar-nominated (best live-action short) piece and features Lester, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Graham Stark and Bruce Lacey. Anatomy of a Style is another a new piece, focusing on Lester’s methods with story editor and screenwriter Bobbuie O'Steen and music editor Suzana Peric who deconstruct five of the revolutionary music sequences from A Hard Day's Night. There is also a new 27-minute interview with author Mark Lewisohn (author of Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years.) He discusses The Beatles' career up to A Hard Day's Night. Lastly are both 2000 and 2014 Re-Release Trailers and the package contains a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Howard Hampton and excerpts from a 1970 interview with Lester.

Personally, this is my Blu-ray of the Year to date - it will certainly get the most playtime on my system in the next few months. It is a great demo disc for when people come over - to hear The Beatles as never before. Thank you Criterion. Our highest recommendation!

***

 

ADDITION Alliance (Canada) Blu-ray - September 2009: I'd like to be brief but there are a few details that must be mentioned. Firstly this is an interlaced transfer (1080i) from Alliance. It, hence, exhibits 'combing' or 'trailing'. It's the same 1.66 aspect ratio as the Miramax CE DVD and looks to be the same transfer excepting it is now in HD. Meaning it has the same slight speckle and dirt imperfections. If I was forced to guess I'd say that Alliance took the Miramax transfer and bumped it to HD - it even starts with a Miramax logo.

Image: It seems lighter, detail may be marginally improved but really it is the increased resolution working - i.e. the larger it is displayed the more this will be evident. Black levels aren't as pronounced as on the CE DVD but everything else looks superior. The 'combing' is imperceptible in motion but it still indicates that this is not the best transfer possible. This Blu-ray is single-layered and the feature takes up a puny 13.8 Gig but the video bitrate is more than double the 2002 DVD although could also improve. My opinion is it certainly looks better than the DVD - at times, much better. Grain is overshadowed by noise - especially in monochromatic black backgrounds. Obviously, the visuals could still advance much further in this format. This dashed my expectations but I've been in the woods before with Alliance - it's hit or miss - mostly miss - so I wasn't that surprised.

Okay - let's get to the important part - the audio. I'll admit this is the feature that I have the least confidence in reviewing. I don't really have any quantitative way of comparing. It's up to my crusty ears. I'll say this though - it sounds tremendous. We've been given a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 3818 kbps. This is the best I have EVER heard these classic Beatle songs. I threw-in with my old CD - no comparison whatsoever. It was exporting audio closer to SACD in my opinion. If I Fell, Can't Buy Me Love and And I Love Her particularly sounded exceptional but it was hard not to notice the buoyancy on all the songs although demonstrative separation is limited. This alone may be worth the purchase of the Blu-ray for some. I intend to take it to a friend's house for a second opinion. I'll report back here. As it stands I was blown away although I admit I am no serious audiophile. There are no subtitle options and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

NOTE: Warning the default audio is a standard 5.1 at 448 Kbps (???) - you'll have to change it to the DTS-HD!

The Blu-ray includes most of the supplements from the CE package including  the 36-minute "Things They Said Today ..." and dozen shorter featurettes. We miss out on a few other less consequential bits and pieces and none of the Blu-ray extras are in HD - although there is some benefit to having them all on the same disc as the feature.

This package is far from ideal and we can only give a recommendation for the audio which turned out to be a wonderful surprise. I've played it all day for the songs but let's hope it surfaces by another 1080 production house soon.

Gary W. Tooze

***




 

ON THE DVDs:

Aspect Ratio Per IMDB;
1.37 : 1 (negative ratio)
1.75 : 1 (intended ratio)
MPI 1.33:1 vs. BV 1.66:1


The MPI
being an Open Matte print offers more information in the frame (top and bottom), while BV offer a little more on the left and much more on the right side.

BV extras are almost too much, with interviews of everyone and anyone who is not a Beatle! The menus for BV are beautifully animated. MPI's menus are static, but the limited extras are only available on MPI. Subtitles on MPI are summarized but not on the songs. Subtitles on BV are spot on and even provided on the performance of songs.

End of the day, keep your old MPI and get the new one by Miramax.

For a quaint supplemental disc, get "The Making of A Hard Day's Night" hosted by Phil Collins, a short made for TV doc. sold by MPI but OOP.

 - Enrique B Chamorro

A HARD DAY’S NIGHT – The MPI version is, save the MPI trailers, the same materials used for the transfer and supplement section from the 12” Criterion double LaserDisc set.  MPI did the DVD when Criterion was still not involved with the format.  In both cases, the film print is from the 1981 re-issue with the always-awful Dolby A-type analog stereo surround remix by producer Walter Shenson, which was bad on the Criterion version, and even worse in the recycled (and further compressed) Dolby Digital 2.0 from MPI.  The film was restored a few years ago and Miramax issued it theatrically in Dolby Digital only, then Apple Records rejected a 5.1 mix that may or may not have been used theatrically, with the Miramax DVD of course does not have anything above Pro Logic surrounds (and no center channel?).  They only kick in during the music numbers, making for a great disparity between those moments and the rest of the film.  Note the good black and white quality from the Miramax version versus the greenish MPI recycle.  The 1.66 was the way to go to get better picture quality versus doing a full screen image, already seen on the MPI version, albeit greenish.  The new print, along with the still-to-be-issued-on-DVD HELP! (1965, EastmanColor) were restored frame-by-frame for preservation purposes at the time.  With 6.1 configurations we now have and that the music from HELP! (both The Beatles songs and George Martin’s instrumental score) were recorded in the more authentic stereo of the time, so the choices made when that DVD arrives will be something to see and hear.

Nicholas Sheffo from FulvueDrive-In.com

 


 

Menus

(MPI (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

Featurette Supplements found on the Miramax DVD and the Blu-ray

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) MPI (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MPI (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MPI (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MPI (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MPI (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MPI (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MPI (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Miramax - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Alliance (Universal) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Criterion Blu-ray Captures

 


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Image:

Criterion Blu-ray

Sound:

Criterion Blu-ray

Extras:

Criterion Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

also available at a higher price from:

Distribution

MPI (OOP)

Region 0 - NTSC

Miramax
Region 1 - NTSC

Alliance (Universal)

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Criterion - Spine # 711 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray