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The Beatles’ Best Film
The Beatles’ best film was captured, in black and white, at the height of Beatlemania in Great Britain.
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Pattie Boyd as Jean, a blonde schoolgirl on the train
Charlotte Rampling as a nightclub dancer
Phil Collins as a schoolboy watching the Beatles’ TV performance
Pattie Boyd on The Beatles’ Train
George Harrison met his wife-to-be, Patricia Boyd, also known as Pattie, on the set when she made a brief (uncredited) appearance as one of the schoolgirls. Pattie had a boyfriend at the time, but he persisted and they were married within 18 months.
The phrase “get knotted” in the first cut was judged too offensive for a U classification and had to be removed for its 1964 release.
In 1964, when director Richard Lester was hired to direct The Beatles‘ first film, he remembered a writer named Alun Owen (who supplied the line ‘get knotted’) from their previous work together on Lester’s ITV television programme The Dick Lester Show in 1955.
McCartney said, “Alun hung around with us and was careful to try and put words in our mouths that he might’ve heard us speak, so I thought he did a very good script.”
In 1964, Pan Books published a novelisation of the film by author John Burke, described as “based on the original screenplay by Alun Owen”. The book was priced at two shillings and sixpence and contained an 8-page section of photographs from the film. It is the first book in the English language to have the word ‘grotty’ in it. The word became part of Fab Four fans’ dialogue after George Harrison was seen saying it, in one scene.
“Grotty” by George Harrison
“I’m a Mocker”
“Are you a Mod or a Rocker?”
“I’m a Mocker.”
This immortal line of Beatles’ chat sealed their brand in 1964.
The Making of A Hard Day’s Night
If you want to see how the best Beatles’ film in history was created, watch here.