AHDN finally being reissued? Update (11/19/00) Finally, details on the reissue from David Patrick (thanks!):
THE FILM RELEASE: A HARD DAY'S GONNA FALL!
by David Patrick
Miramax Films is definitely releasing "A Hard Day's Night" in the USA this year! It will be released initially in two cities - New York and Los Angeles on Friday December 1st. The film is then due to open in 10 further cities on Friday December 8th - though the 10 cities have not yet been confirmed. The film then should roll out to other US cities in future weeks.
One of the reasons for the limited, cautious release pattern is believed to be because of what industry observers describe as the bungled release campaign devised by Apple and MGM last year for "Yellow Submarine" The poorly planned and executed theatrical reissue of the Beatles 1968 animated film gave film exhibitors (the movie theater chains) and "A Hard Day's Night" distributors Miramax Films cold feet about the market for a Beatles film in movie theaters. Prior to the failure of the "Yellow Submarine" theatrical reissue - Miramax had indicated a possible "wide" release - opening the film in multiple markets simultaneously - such as the successful reissue of the movie "Grease." Now the film will have a very limited art-house release - a pattern described as a "platform release" Though this is much less flamboyant and more cautious than the original plan - it is still a prestigious release.
Beatles fans who wish to see the film's reissue succeed and spread all over America will have a lot to do with that success. If the initial engagements in New York and Los Angeles attract large crowds - then other markets will realize that there IS a big market for the Beatles at the movies - and Miramax is certain to step up its campaign. But if the film performs poorly - attracting just modest crowds - then the limited reissue will almost certainly become a self-fulfilling prophecy - and will remain severely limited.
There are two celebrity re-premieres planned for the film. A New York screening will take place on Tuesday November 28 - and an L.A. premiere on Thursday November 30th. No word yet on what celebrities are expected to attend.
It is highly unlikely that any of the Beatles or Yoko Ono will be in attendance at these screenings.
The recent death at the age of 81 of producer Walter Shenson whose company is the sole owner of the film has led to speculation that Apple and the Beatles will make further attempts to acquire the film. Shenson had resisted all attempts to purchase the film in the past.
And details about a special AHDN website set up by Miramax, again from David Patrick (thanks again!):
A HARD DAY'S SITE: REISSUE OF BEATLES FIRST MOVIE INSPIRES CREATION OF "WORLD'S FIRST WEBSITE" !!
New website to be launched in style of a movie website - circa 1964
by David Patrick
Content includes newly discovered Beatles artifact lost for 36 years: The very first draft of the Oscar-nominated script of "A Hard Day's Night"
On Friday December 1st Miramax Films is reissuing one of the most-acclaimed movies of all time - the Beatles' first movie - "A Hard Day's Night"
As part of the launch campaign Miramax has created what may be one of the most innovative websites ever designed for a movie release. The website is designed as though it is 1964 (the year the film was first released) and site visitors will experience the website that might have been produced in Britain to promote the film in 1964 - had the Internet been invented in that era.
The website address is http://www.miramax.com/aharddaysnight.
Some of the content is already up. Other content (including the newly-discovered film script will be added very soon.)
The website - like the film - is naturally in black & white! The contents are drawn from original promotional materials created to market the film in 1964. Many of the items were recently discovered in the vaults of the film’s producer - Walter Shenson (who died last month.) The content includes many previously-unseen photographs taken on the film set. The accompanying text has been written in the style of the times - with no references to the Beatles world after 1964. (Except for a few very subtle post-64 Beatle inferences for the amusement of hardcore beatles fans.)
The “1964 website” concept was devised by writer and noted Beatles historian Martin Lewis - who also wrote the accompanying text. The website itself was created by a team consisting of Miramax Films executive Robert Nuell and website design team Chopping Block.
The website is in two distinct sections. In addition to the primary part which is set in 1964 - there is another section (set in the present day) which looks at the film with the benefit of 36 years perspective.
In a couple of nods to Beatle-connected song titles - the 1964 section is titled “Yesterday” and the contemporary section is named “Here Today” (the title of Paul McCartney’s 1982 tribute song to the late John Lennon.)
Included in the “Here Today” section will be a recent discovery which is certain to be a treat for Beatles fans and historians. It is the very first draft of the Academy Award-nominated script for “A Hard Day’s Night.” The script - which was typed by its author Alun Owen - features many scenes which were not included in the final film - and several handwritten notes by the writer and by director Richard Lester.
The historic version of the script will be presented in two formats on the website. Visitors will be able to see facsimiles of each individual page. They will also be able to see and download a matching page-by-page text version of the script which will also include transcripts of scenes which are featured in the film - but which were improvised or not featured in the first draft of the script.
The priceless, historic script and many of the other original promotional items were recently discovered by Lewis in the vaults of his friend - the film’s producer Walter Shenson - who died age 81 a few weeks ago after a short illness. Lewis describes the discovery of the script as being akin to finding the Beatles equivalent of one of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Apart from the fascination of reading scenes that were shot but then cut from the finished film - and scenes that were cut before filming - there are many other priceless nuggets. Perhaps the most fascinating discovery for Beatles fans is the fact that the names of the characters portraying the Beatles’ two road managers in the film were originally going to be the actual names of the Beatles roadies! The two individuals subsequently became quite well known to Beatles fans. The senior road manager (named “Norm” in the film) was based on the Beatles’ friend Neil Aspinall - who they nicknamed “Nell.” And the assistant roadie (named “Shake” in the movie) was based on the late Mal Evans (who was shot to death by L.A. police in 1973.) Thoughout the first draft of the script - the two characters are listed as “Nell” and “Mal.”
But on the front cover of the script - in large pencil-writing - is a note the writer has made to himself - presumably after receiving an instruction from the Beatles camp: “Nell becomes Norm. Mal becomes Shake.”
Peace, Love, and Beatles,
Beatle Me This, Beatle Me That
"After all is said and done, you can't go pleasing everyone, so screw it"