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Rock 'N' FilmCinema's Dance With Popular Music$
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David E. James

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199387595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199387595.001.0001

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The Beatles I

The Beatles I

Richard Lester and A Hard Day’s Night

(p.138) 8 The Beatles I
Rock 'N' Film

David E. James

Oxford University Press

Including US rock ’n’ roll stars along with British performers of pop and Dixieland jazz, Richard Lester’s It’s Trad Dad! was the best of the US and UK jukebox musicals. For the first time, its innovative audio-visual compositions began to approach the sophistication of the classic musicals’ numbers, and its final scenes mixed performances and fans in a utopian folk festival that anticipated Monterey Pop and other counterculture documentaries. Lester developed these innovations in A Hard Day’s Night with the Beatles, one of the decade’s most crucial works that was designated “the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals.” As well as consolidating the Beatles as the counterculture’s figureheads, the film made a narrative innovation that would henceforth been pivotal: it re-created the classic musicals’ dual focus on a boy-girl affair as a romance between the musicians and the fans.

Keywords:   Richard Lester, It’s Trad Dad, the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, jukebox musicals

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