Tuesday, February 9, 2016
"A Hard Day's Night" not a classic?
So the other day, we picked up this book because we love old movies. More than 5,000 entries, the cover says. So we're looking through the book and all the ones you'd expect are there. "Casablanca." "Gone With the Wind." "Ben-Hur." "King Kong." "The Godfather." Not everything in the book is on the list of best movies, but many are, as they should be. But some of the worst were there, too, like "Plan 9 From Outer Space."
So, as we often do with books, we go looking for Beatle mentions. Like "A Hard Day's Night." Turn the pages to the H's. Not there. Huh? And no "Help!," "Magical Mystery Tour," "Yellow Submarine" or "Let It Be." Hmm... Curiously, though, the Monkees' "Head" is listed. As is the Dave Clark Five's "Having a Wild Weekend." So is "Jimi Hendrix." "Jailhouse Rock." "Rock, Rock, Rock." "Go, Johnny, Go!" "Beach Blanket Bingo." "Beach Party."
Tucked in the back are checklists of directors' films. It is there (and only there) we found AHDN, plus "How I Won the War" and the McCartney tour film "Get Back" listed. In tiny print.
The key seems to be the mention in the Editor's Note that the book excludes ("painfully," it says) British films, except for early Hitchcock films and also James Bond movies, but makes an exception for films that "feature predominately Hollywood-associated casts or directors." So presumably, then, John Boorman, who is British, incidentally, and his direction of "Having a Wild Weekend" makes it, but the films of Richard Lester, an American, do not?
By the way, this is not a recent book, but came out in 1999. I have to admit I like the book otherwise because I love reading about classic movies. But this was a huge error and there's no excuse for it.
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