Today, September 18, is the final day for two Beatles related events at “the Henry Ford” in Dearborn, Michigan: “Magical History Tour” and “A Hard Day’s Night” on the IMAX screen. I wanted to put that up front in case you weren’t aware of it. I went to see the history exhibit last Sunday (September 11), and I’ll write about that in a different post. But I was not aware of “A Hard Day’s Night” on that giant screen! So, I came back yesterday to check it out.
The whole day turned into a giant adventure. I forgot the starting time of the movie and arrived two and a half hours early for it. That was OK because I bought my ticket then. So, I left for a couple of hours, but about 10 minutes later, my car broke down in Allen Park behind Marshall Music. Damn! Now I had to wait for a tow…in the rain…with The Beatles on the hook.
The driver arrived extremely fast and got me hooked up quickly. After a tow to where I wanted to go, I got picked up from there, grabbed another car, and took off for the movie.
I got there just a little bit after it started. To my surprise, the theater was about half full—pretty good for a 50+ year old movie in black and white. I’ve written about my early experiences with “A Hard Day’s Night when it was the 50th anniversary of its release in a prior post. (Look for it on this website.) I had also just watched it within the past month because Turner Classic Movies had just run it recently, so it was still fresh in my mind again.
The first thing that strikes you when you see them on that big screen is how great they look! John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and particularly Ringo Starr never looked better! George Harrison, in my opinion, looked a little “scruffier” in this format. Now that’s not a bad thing. His hair just seemed a little less groomed than the other Beatles.
I wish I could say that it was like seeing it for the first time, but that wasn’t the case. When someone has watched the film as many times as I have, the odds were pretty much stacked against that. But after adjusting to the size of the screen, the one thing that you do see for the first time throughout the movie is the detail in it. I never noticed that John had a band aid on the pinky finger of his left hand during the movie’s final live performance. Or the pocket watch on the studio console as well as the Wrigley’s Spearmint gum wrapper stuffed into the console ashtray.
Now this may not be exciting enough for someone to see this movie again, but that band aid on Lennon’s hand was the equivalent to me of hearing finger popping snaps the first time I listened to “Here, There, and Everywhere” from “Revolver” on headphones!
It’s like looking at the movie while holding a giant magnifying glass!
And the best thing about seeing the movie again, was hearing the songs on that IMAX speaker system. That was the best I have ever heard any Beatles music! The supporting cast also comes off even better because you can’t help but notice them.
There were some negatives to seeing the film in a format that super sized. In particular, the lip synching and strumming pantomime to “And I Love Her” is slightly off. That one was really obvious to me, so I had to mentally look towards something else to take my mind off it.
Some viewers applauded when it was over. I always like that because the movie deserves
it. Seated behind me were two young mothers in their twenties who had taken their daughters to watch the film. They had behaved themselves throughout because I wasn’t even aware they were there. As we were walking out, I heard one of the girls—who was probably four years old, say, “Thank you, mommy! I liked that!” The mother clarified with the girl that that was what she was talking about and the girl again said that she really liked it. And that is how a musical dynasty keeps on rolling!
Well, I really liked it, too!
And I’ll see it again today!
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