Victor Rocha Dr.

Froehlich English 15 April 15, 2010 A Hard Day’s Night Throughout the sixties there were many films that grasped society’s perception of culture, ethnicity, gender, and social status. Not many films however were able to address these subjects without having to do so in all too serious and hurtful way. There were those who attempted to do what Dr. Strangelove did and mock the issue with the dry humor, however they did so in a very poor way. The Beatles, however, in 1964 found a way to bring all these issues together in a comedy known as A Hard Day’s Night. The Beatles unintentionally did so by just creating a mock documentary of their lives while on tour. In making this documentary the aspect of society on many issues was displayed starting with the demonstration of men having more say than woman, to the older society and their dislike of the new generation.

A Hard Day’s Night represents society’s views of women and the place the held in comparison to men. The Beatles along with other

men who make appearances in the film make up almost the entire dialogue of the film excluding the ideas of women and what they may have to say. For example in the first couple opening scenes The Beatles decide to go for a cup of tea on the train and they spot a group of girls whom they are interested in. Paul McCartney attempts to flirt with these women and although they make jokes at being convicted criminals they have no response and show no desire to flee even though they’re scared. When Paul’s grandfather orders the girls to run for this reason they decide to follow his orders and go back to their train car. They seem to have no ability to make decisions for themselves unless there’s a man making the decision for them. Furthermore in the consecutive scene Ringo Starr and George Harrison are walking through the train cars and encounter a woman sitting alone. The woman invites Ringo in but he declines her invitation. When George confronts Ringo on his behavior he says that she won’t like him due to his nose and ugly features, to which George tells him in a mocking way that since she’s a woman she’ll have no choice but to like him due to whom he is. Woman weren’t treated poorly but their say wasn’t very accounted for. Along with the idea of women not being able to decide for themselves, the idea of women being the only ones who can be Beatles fans exists. According to The Beatles wherever the group made appearances or performed the line to get in the studio or concert

hall was lined by what seemed to be a never ending multitude of girls, that were teenagers or younger. According to Crazy About You girls who suffer from low self-esteem issues during middle childhood tend to idolize and become obsess with pop icons since they feel an interpersonal connection exists with their object of obsession. This film clearly depicts this idea with scenes that shows the band playing in front of a live audience and the girls are crying attempting to speak to the group members as if they knew them personally. The idea of what the expected reaction from women towards a band like The Beatles is clearly present throughout this film. Sensations of 1964 often got these types of responses from girls, which was very different than the attention for entertainers ten years previous to this. The way entertainers were cherished and appreciated was obviously revolutionized and through the reaction that girls gave in this comedy the revolution was demonstrated to the older generation. A lot had changed in society as far as many adults were concerned in 1964. A lot of the older folks didn’t take very kindly to these changes as far as the behavior and the mindset. A perfect example of this stems from a scene in A Hard Day’s Night. The band is sitting in their own section when older gentleman joins them. It begins with the man shutting the window when the group speaks up and tells the man they’d rather have the window open he tells them he has rights on the train since he is a frequent traveler. The fight back and

forth continues with the old man and the group until he tells them that they should take their childish games elsewhere on the train where they obviously belong. This scene is symbolic to show the disapproval of older society for the younger crowd. According to Encyclopedia of World Biography often when groups such as The Rolling Stones or The Beatles were on tour and had to use public forms of transportation, adults and the older society would complain about their “savage and out-of-line behavior”. The generation gap was heavily increased and it seemed that there was no going back. In this same scene of the group bickering with the old man another issue of social status is also addressed. The group points out to the old man that they as well have paid for their seats and that they deserve in the section of the train; the gentleman replies with the fact that they’re accent indicates that they’re clearly of lower status and he doesn’t wish to mingle with his kind. Although this even took place in England, it’s symbolic to the United States and their views on inter racial socializing. Many people in 1964, especially the older crowd, believed that White’s shouldn’t associate themselves with Blacks or any other inferior race to them. The idea of inferior race mingling stayed consistent with the characters of this film. In a scene where the band goes to a studio to record some of their songs, the director makes a point to say that he is a distinguished man who’s won trophies and plaques for his work where the group is only a band of hooligans

with no cultural meaning or education. A Hard Day’s Night was a critically acclaimed film that along with many great films of the era, depicted social issues. Unaware of the actions The Beatles gave future societies a glimpse of what life was like in the mid ‘60s and the what society depicted of social issues. This film although showed the issues of this era, lightened the mood by doing so in a comedy film.

Work Cited

"The Beatles." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. 89-92. Print. Davies, Hunter. The Beatles. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Print. Myers, Scott M. Crazy About You. Reflection on the Meaning of Contemporary Teen Music. Washington State University. Web. 3 Apr. 2010.

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