A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Sure to rope in new Beatles fans and teach kids about early rock 'n' roll and the influence of the band on every other that followed.
By keeping things light and silly, fame isn't ever taken too seriously here, despite all the screaming, running fans. A few nice messages in the love songs, like "Money Can't Buy Me Love." Teamwork is a theme.
Positive Role Models
The Fab Four scoff at some of their responsibilities -- answering fan mail can wait until after the party -- but come together in the end for the show. Paul's grandfather is a bit of a cad -- gambling, making bawdy jokes, trying to swindle women, running from the police -- but everyone remains respectful of him. Also, crazed female fans race after the Beatles and cry and scream in the concert hall.
Violence & Scariness
Many fans trip while chasing The Beatles, and some others look faint in the audience later. A car is stolen, a dove is squished in a man's sleeve, a woman falls down a hole and is immediately rescued, some running from the police and talk of the mean things they can do to prisoners.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few bawdy jokes, with a mention of an orgy and that Paul's grandpa is "sex obsessed."
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Products & Purchases
This movie is of course meant to sell the album as well. There are also brief glimpses of what looks like a Pepsi bottle and someone is reading a Mad magazine book.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots and lots of (era-accurate) smoking by everyone. Brief drug-related humor (John pretends to snort cocaine from the top of his Pepsi bottle). Lots of drinking at a dance club.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Hard Day's Night is a great way to introduce kids to The Beatles -- or, as a family, to just enjoy their glory days. Aside from Paul's naughty grandfather, a lot of heavy smoking (typical of the era), and some brief drug-related humor (which kids may miss entirely), there's very little iffy content here, so just focus on singing along with the soundtrack. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The documentary style of this movie masks its tight construction, clever script, and sublime anarchy second only to the Marx brothers. It portrays the Beatles sympathetically -- like the heroine of It Happened One Night, they are constantly told what to do and smothered by all they have.
Part of the humor of A Hard Day's Night is that it is not the members of the Beatles but Paul's grandfather who causes most of the trouble. Musical numbers include "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Should Have Known Better" as well as the title song, its title taken from Ringo's warped syntax after a long recording session.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.