A Hard Day's Night (film)

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A Hard Day's Night is a 1964 British musical comedy film starring influential 1960s pop group The Beatles. The first film to star the group, it chronicles an average, fictionalized day in their lives as they avoid hysterical fans, rehearse for a television appearance, and deal with the various issues that their fame has brought them.

Director: Richard Lester. Writer: Alun Owen.

Tagline: THE BEATLES in Their First Full Length, Hilarious Action-Packed Film!


  • We know how to behave - we've had lessons.
  • Control yourself. You'll spurt.
  • Hey, he's reading the Queen. That's an in-joke, you know.
  • [To Norm - repeated line] You're a swine.
  • [Coming a fake beard; in a high-pitched 'girly' voice] My name's Betty.
  • [To a tailor with a measuring tape; in a high-pitched 'girly' voice] I now declare this bridge open. [Cuts the tape with scissors]
  • He's sex obsessed! The older generation's leading our nation in a state of galloping ruin.
  • [To a journalist at a press conference] I never noticed his nose until about six months ago.


  • [About his grandfather] He's very clean.
  • [To the Gentleman on the train] Hey mister - can we have our ball back?
  • [Holding a hair-dryer; Shakespearean] Oh, that this too, too solid flesh would melt... [Flash Gordon-style] Zap!
  • [After his grandfather has taken Ringo's gambling-club invitation] It's all your fault, getting invites to gambling clubs. He's probably in the middle of some orgy by now. {Perks up] Weh-hey!
  • [To two girls on the train; exaggerated posh accent] Excuse me madam! Excuse me, but these young men I'm with were wondering if two of us could come over and join you. [Normal voice] I'd ask you meself only I'm shy.


  • [About Ringo] He's very fussy about his drums, you know. They loom large in his legend.
  • Sorry we hurt your field, mister.
  • [To a make-up artist] Hey, you won't interfere with the basic rugged concept of me personality, will you madam?
  • [Teaching Shake to shave] Put yer tongue away. It looks disgusting hangin' there all pink and naked...one slip of the razor and...mmf!
  • [About Ringo, who has just won at cards] He's wearing his lucky rings.


  • Come in number seven, your time's up!
  • I'm going out parading before it's too late!
  • There you go, hiding behind a smokescreen of bourgeois cliches.


  • Paul's Grandfather: It's my considered opinion that you're all a bunch of sissies.
  • Norm: Shake, take that wig off. It suits you.
  • Norm: [To Paul's Grandfather, about Ringo's disappearance] God knows what you've unleashed on the unsuspecting South. It'll be wine, women, and song all the way with Ringo when he gets the taste for it.
  • TV Director: Get me a bottle of milk and some tranquilizers. I see it all now... It's a plot... a plot...
  • TV Director: [When the Beatles have returned to do the show; almost tearfully] You don't know what this means to me. If you hadn't come back it would have meant... The Epilogue. Or The News in Welsh... for life!
  • Simon Marshall: Don't breathe on me, Adrian.


John: Hey, pardon me for asking, but who's that little old man?
Paul: What little old man?
John: [Pointing] That little old man.
Paul: Oh, that one. That's my grandfather.
George: Your grandfather? That's not your grandfather.
Paul: It is, you know.
George: But I've seen your grandfather. He lives in your house.
Paul: Oh, that's my other grandfather, but he's my grandfather, as well.
John: How do you reckon that one out?
Paul: Well, everyone's entitled to two, aren't they? And he's my other one.
John: [Impatient] We know that, but what's he doing here?
Paul: Me mother thought the trip would do him good. He's nursing a broken heart.
John: Poor old thing. Hey mister, are you nursing a broken heart?
[Paul's grandfather doesn't reply; John gets up and sits next to him]
John: Hello, grandfather!
Grandfather: Hullo.
John: He can talk then, can he?
Paul: 'Course he can talk. He's a human being, isn't he?
Ringo: Well if he's your grandfather, who knows! Ha ha ha!
John: And we're looking after him, are we?
Grandfather: I'll look after myself.
Paul: Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of.
John: He's got you worried, then?
Paul: Him? He's a villain, a real mixer. And he costs you a fortune in Breach of Promise cases.

Norm: Now look, I've had a marvelous idea. Just for once, let's all try to behave like ordinary, respectable citizens. Let's not cause any trouble, pull any strokes, or do anything I'm gonna be sorry for. Especially tomorrow at that television theater, because...
[looks at John, who is holding up a bottle to his nose]
Norm: Are you listening to me, Lennon?
John: You're a swine. Isn't he, George?
George: Yeah, a swine.
Norm: [Indifferently] Thanks.

[The gentleman has just closed the window despite the four Beatles wanting it open]
Paul: Excuse me, d'you mind if we have it open?
Gentleman: [Coldly] Yes, I do.
John: Yeah, but there's four of us and we'd like it open. That's if it's all the same to you, that is.
Gentleman: It isn't. I travel on this train regularly; twice a week. So I suppose I have some rights.
Ringo: So have we.
[Ringo turns on the radio; the gentleman leans over and switches it off almost instantly]
Gentleman: And we'll have that thing off as well, thank you.
Ringo: But...
Gentleman: An elementary knowledge of the Railway Acts would tell you that I'm perfectly within my rights.
Paul: Yeah, but we want to hear it, and there's more of us than you. We're a community, like, a majority vote. Up the workers and all that stuff!
Gentleman: Then I suggest you take that damned thing to the corridor or some other part of the train. [Contemptuous] Where you obviously belong.
[John and the man make eye contact.]
John: Give us a kiss.
Paul: Look, mister, we paid for our seats too, you know.
Gentleman: I travel on this train regularly; twice a week!
John: Give up, Paul, you can't argue with his sort; after all, it's his train, isn't it?
Gentleman: Don't take that tone with me, young man. I fought the war for your sort.
Ringo: I bet you're sorry you won.
Gentleman: I shall call the guard!
Paul: Ah, but what? They don't take kindly to insults, you know. Come on, let's go get a cup of coffee and leave the kennel to Lassie.

George: What's the matter with you, then?
Ringo: It's his grandfather. I can tell he doesn't like me. It's cause I'm little.
George: Ah, you've got an inferiority complex, you have.
Ringo: Yeah, I know, that's why I play the drums - it's me active compensatory factor.

[After encountering a seductive woman who tempts Ringo into her compartment on the train]
George: Goin' in, then?
Ringo: No, she'll only reject me in the end and I'll be frustrated.
George: You never know; you might be lucky this time.
Ringo: No, I know the psychological pattern. It plays havoc with me drum skins.

John: [To Paul's Grandfather, who is locked in the guard's carriage] Don't worry, son. We'll get ya the best lawyer green stamps can buy.
Paul: Oh-ho, it's a laugh-a-line with Lennon! [To Ringo] Anyway, it's your fault.
Ringo: [Indignant] Why me?!
George: Why not you?

Norm: The place is surging with girls.
John: [Eagerly] Please sir, sir, can I have one to surge me sir, please sir?
Norm: No, you can't!

Ringo: I don't snore.
George: You do, repeatedly.
Ringo: Do I snore, John?
John: Yeah, you're a window-rattler, son.
Ringo: That's just your opinion. Do I snore, Paul?
Paul: With a trombone hooter like yours, it would be unnatural if you didn't.
Grandfather: Now, Paulie... don't mock the afflicted.
Paul: Ah, come off it, it's only a joke!
Grandfather: Aye, it may be a joke to you, but it's his nose. He can't help having a hideous great hooter! And his poor little head, trembling under the weight of it!

[Huge stacks of fan mail is delivered]
Ringo: None for me, then?
Norm: Sorry.
[John hands Ringo a single letter]
John: Here. This'll keep you busy.
Grandfather: It's your nose you know. Fans are funny that way, they take a dislike to things. They'll pick on a nose.
Ringo: Aw, you pick on your own.

[after Ringo receives a huge pile of fan mail]
John: Must have cost you a fortune in stamps, Ringo.
George: He comes from a large family.

[Opening the cupboard to hang up his jacket, Ringo sees the elderly porter inside]
Ringo: Any of you lot put a man in the cupboard?
George: Nah!
Paul: Don't be soft!
[George has a look in the cupboard, sees the man, and sits back down]
George: He's right, you know
John: There you go.

George: Honestly! Me mind boggles at the very idea. A grown man and you haven't shaved with a safety razor.
Shake: It's not my fault. I come from a long line of electricians.

[During a press conference]
Reporter: How did you find America?
John: Turned left at Greenland.

[During a press conference]
Reporter: Has success changed your life?
George: Yes.

[During a press conference]
Reporter: Are you a mod, or a rocker?
Ringo: Um, no. I'm a mocker.

[During a press conference]
Reporter: Do you think these haircuts have come to stay?
Ringo: Well, this one has. You know, it's stuck on good and proper now.

[During a press conference]
Reporter: What would you call that hairstyle you're wearing?
George: Arthur.

[During a press conference]
Reporter: What do you call that collar?
Ringo: A collar.

[During a press conference]
Reporter: Do you often see you father?
Paul: No, actually we're just close friends.

Millie: [Gobsmacked, apparently recognising him] Hello!
John: Hello.
Millie: Oh wait a minute, don't tell me who you are...
John: No I'm not...
Millie Oh, you are...
John: I'm not.
Millie: Oh you are, I know you are...
John:: I'm not, no.
Millie: You look just like him.
John: [Acting surprised] Do I? You're the first one that's said that, ever.
Millie: Yes you do, look.
[She points John to a mirror, points a light-fitting over him]
John: No, my eyes are lighter, the nose...
Millie: Oh yes your nose is very...
John: Is it?
Millie: I would have said so.
John: You know him better, though.
Millie: [Defensive] I do not. He's only a casual acquaintance.
John: That's what you say.
Millie: What have you heard?
John: [Leaning close, quietly] It's all over the place.
Millie: [Grinning shyly] Is it? Is it really?
John: But I wouldn't have it. I stuck up for you.
Millie: [Touched] I knew I could rely on you.
John: [Humble] Thanks.
[Millie puts on her glasses]
Millie: You know, you don't look like him at all.
[John pouts and walks up the stairs]
John: [Huffily] She looks more like him than I do.

[Having accidentally wandered into a fashion studio, George has been mistaken for a teen model]
George: [Politely] I'm terribly sorry, but there seems to be some sort of misunderstanding...
Simon Marshall: Oh, you can come off it with us. You don't have to do the old adenoidal glottal-stop and carry-on for our benefit.
George: [Confused] I'm afraid I don't understand.
Simon Marshall: [Mortified] Oh, my God, he's a natural!
Secretary: Well, I did tell them not to send us real ones.
Simon Marshall: They ought to know by now that the phonies are much easier to handle.

Simon Marshall: We'd like you to give us your opinion on some clothes for teenagers.
George: Oh, by all means. I'd be quite prepared for that eventuality.
Simon Marshall: Well, not your REAL opinion, obviously. It'll be written out for you. Can he read?
George: [Slightly indignant] Course I can!
Simon Marshall: I mean lines, ducky, can you handle lines?
George: Well, I'll have a bash.
Simon Marshall:: Good. Get him whatever it is they drink, uh, coke-a-rama?
George: Ta
Simon Marshall: Well, at least he's polite.

[Simon hands George some shirts]
Simon Marshall: Now you'll like these. You'll really "dig" them. They're "fab," and all the other pimply hyperboles...
George: I wouldn't be seen dead in them. They're dead grotty.
Simon Marshall: Grotty?
George: Yeah, grotesque.
Simon Marshall: Make a note of that word and give it to Susan. [Sarcastic] It's quite touching, really. Here's this kid, giving me his utterly valueless opinion, when I know for a fact that within a month he'll be suffering from a violent inferiority complex and loss of status because he isn't wearing one of these nasty things! Of course they're grotty you wretched nit, that's why they were designed! But that's what you'll want.
George: I won't.
Simon Marshall: You can be replaced, chickie baby.
George: I don't care.
Simon Marshall: And that pose is out too, Sonny-Jim. The new thing is to care deeply and be right-wing. Anyway, if you don't cooperate you won't get to meet Susan.
George: [Unimpressed] And who's this Susan when she's at home?
Simon Marshall: Only Susan Canby, our resident teenager. You'll have to like her; she's your symbol.
George: Oh! You mean that posh bird who gets everything wrong?
Simon Marshall: Excuse me?
George: Oh, yeah. The lads frequently sit around the telly and watch her for a giggle. One time we actually sat down and wrote these letters saying how gear she was in all that rubbish.
Simon Marshall: [weakly] She's a trendsetter. It's her profession.
George: She's a drag. A well known drag. We turn the sound down on her and say rude things.
Simon Marshall: [Horrified] Get him out of here! He's knocking the program's image!
George: Have I said something amiss?
Simon Marshall: Get him out!
George: Sorry about the shirts!

[About the TV Director and his attractive assistant]
Paul: Wonder if his wife knows about her.
John: I bet he hasn't even got a wife. Look at his sweater.
Paul: You never know, she might have knitted it.
John: She knitted him.

TV Director: Where are they?... Where are they?! [Strolls moodily around the stage for a moment; silkily] Where are they?
TV Floor Manager: They're coming, I promise you. They're coming.
TV Director: Yes, well, if they aren't on this stage in exactly thirty seconds then there's going to be trouble. Do you hear me? Trouble.
[Immediately after he has made this statement, the Beatles calmly stroll onto the stage]
John: Standin' about, eh? Some people have it dead easy.

Norm: Ringo, what are you up to?
[Ringo is getting his hair done and reading a magazine]
Ringo: Page five!

Grandfather: Look, I thought I was supposed to be getting a change of scenery. But so far, I've been in a train and a room, and a car and a room, and a room and a room. Well, maybe that's all right for a bunch of powdered gee-gahs like yourselves, but I'm feeling decidedly strait-jacketed.
Lead makeup woman: What a clean old man!
Grandfather: Ah, don't press your luck.

[George runs into Ringo in hallway]
George: Hey, do you know what happened to me?
Ringo: No I don't. [walks on]

[Paul is planning to flirt with two pretty schoolgirls]
George: Aye, but don't rush. None of your five bar gate jumps and over sort of stuff.
Paul: What's that supposed to mean?
George: I don't know, I just thought that it sounded distinguished-like.
John: George Harrison, the scouse of distinction!

Shake: Well, he just asked if he could have those photos, and Norm said no and I said, "Well why don't you be big about it?"
Paul: And?
Norm: [stubborn] Your grandfather pointed out that Shake was always being taller than me just to spite me.

TV Director: We are on in twenty minutes.
George: Can I say something?
TV Director: What?
George: I don't think it's very likely that we will go on. The law of averages is against it.

Norm: Stop being taller than me!
Shake: I can't help it.

Norm: This is a battle of nerves between John and me.
Shake: John hasn't got any.
Norm: Any what?
Shake: Nerves.
Norm: That's the trouble. I've toyed with the idea of a ball and chain, but he'd probably just rattle them at me, and in public, too. Sometimes I think he enjoys seeing me suffer.

[Ringo has been brought to a police station]
Ringo: I demand to see my solicitor!
Desk Sergeant: What's his name?
Ringo: {Taken aback] Well, if you're gonna get technical about it...

[Paul's Grandfather has been brought to a police station after being mobbed selling forged Beatles photos]
Grandfather: Well, you got me here so do your worst, but by God, I'll take one of you with me! I know your game. Get me into that tiled room and then out come the rubber hoses!
Desk Sergeant: [Indulgent] Oh, there's a fire, is there?
Grandfather: You ugly, great brute. You have sadism stamped all over your bloated British kisser!
Desk Sergeant: [Insulted] Eh?
Grandfather: I'll go on hunger strike! I know your caper. The kidney punch and the rabbit clout. The third degree and the size twelve boot ankle tap.
Desk Sergeant: What's he on about?
Grandfather: I'm a soldier for the Republic! You'll need the mahogany truncheons on this boyo. [Singing] 'A nation once again, A nation once again!'
Desk Sergeant: [Exasperated] Look, get Lloyd George next to the mechanic in the cloth cap over there while I sort this lot out, will you?

[Grandfather and Ringo are held in a police station]
Grandfather: Ringo, me old scout! So they've grabbed your leg for the iron too, have they?
Ringo: I'm not exactly a voluntary patient.
Grandfather: Have they roughed you up yet?
Ringo: What?
Grandfather: Oh, they're a desperate crew of drippings, and they've fists like mature hams for pounding poor defenseless lads like you. One of us has got to escape. I'll get the boys. Hold on, son, I'll be back here.
Ringo: For me?
Grandfather: And if they get you on the floor, watch out for your brisket.
Ringo: They seem all right to me.
Grandfather: Ah, sure, that's what they want you to think. All coppers are villains.
Desk Sergeant: [Politely] Would you two like a cup of tea?
Grandfather: See, sly villains.
Ringo: [Slightly panicked] Oh, no thank you, Mr. Sergeant sir, not for me. Please don't.

[Planning an 'escape' from the police station]
Grandfather: [To Ringo] Alright, son. It's now or never. [Leaps up suddenly] Alright, you paid assassins! Johnny McCartney will give you a run for your thrupence halfpenny! [runs out]
Irish Police Constable: [Not particularly concerned] Hey! You forgot your photographs.

[Paul and John stumble across a train compartment full of teenage school girls, who are increasingly excited to see them]
Paul: Excuse me girls, have you seen a little old man we were with?
John: [Lunging into the compartment, on his knees in front of a wide-eyed girl] We've broken out! Ah, the blessed freedom of it all! Have you got a nail file, these handcuffs are killin me! I was framed, I'm innocent, I don't want to go!
Paul: [Dragging John out] Sorry for disturbing you, girls!
John: I betchya can't guess what I was in for! [laughs psychotically]

Grandfather: Would you look at him? Sittin' there with his hooter scrapin' away at that book!
Ringo: Well, what's the matter with that?
Grandfather: Have you no natural resources of your own? Have they even robbed you of that?
Ringo: You can learn from books!
Grandfather: You can, can you? Pahh! Sheeps' heads! You could learn more by gettin' out there and living!
Ringo: Out where?
Grandfather: Any old where! But not our little Richard. Oh, no. When you're not thumpin' them pagan skins you're tormenting your eyes with that rubbish.
Ringo: Books are good.
Grandfather: Parading's better.
Ringo: Parading?
Grandfather: Parading the streets! Trailing your coat! Bowling along! Living!
Ringo: Well, I am living.
Grandfather: You? Living? When was the last time you gave a girl a pink-edged daisy? When did you last embarrass a sheila with your cool, appraising stare?
Ringo: You're a bit old for that sort of chat, aren't you?
Grandfather: Well at least I've got a backlog of memories! All you've got is that book!

TV Director: Now, look. If you think I'm unsuitable, let's have it out in the open; I can't stand these backstage politics.
John: Aren't you tending to black-and-white the situation somewhat?
TV Director: Well, quite honestly, I wasn't expecting a musical arranger to question my ability picture-wise.
John: [to the others, amused] I could listen to him for hours.

Norm: Leave him alone, Lennon... or I'll tell them all the truth about you.
John: You wouldn't.
Norm: Oh, I would, though.

[Paul, John and George come out of the studio, looking for Ringo]
Paul: Let's split up and look for him!
[Paul walks away; George and John follow him. Paul turns around, annoyed]
John: We've become a limited company.

Ringo: I'd never thought of it but being middle-aged and old takes up most of your time, doesn't it?
Grandfather: You're only right.

[At the end, before they go on air]
Paul: Where's the old mixer?
Grandfather: [Shamefaced] Here, Paulie.
Paul: Yeah, I've got a few words to say to you, two-faced John McCartney.
John: Oh, leave him alone, he's back, isn't he? It's not his fault he's old.
Paul: What's old got to do with it? He's a troublemaker and a mixer, that's good enough for me.
John: You're right, but he's only asking for attention, aren't ya? See you know your trouble; you should have gone west to America. You would have been a senior citizen of Boston. But you took a wrong turn, and what happened? You're a lonely old man from Liverpool.
Grandfather: [Weak defiance] But I'm clean.
John: Are you?

Shake: It's not my fault.
Norm: What?
Shake: I'm not taller than you. You're shorter than I am.
Norm: [Exasperated; knocking on his forehead] Anyone at home?

[Last lines]
Norm: I just have one thing to say to you, John Lennon.
John: What?
Norm: You're a swine.


John - John Lennon
Paul - Paul McCartney
George - George Harrison
Ringo - Ringo Starr
Grandfather - Wilfred Brambell
Norm - Norman Rossington
Shake - John Junkin
TV Director - Victor Spinetti
Millie - Anna Quayle
Gentleman on Train - Richard Vernon

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