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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by lukejosephchung, Feb 6, 2014.
Paul, was the UA Hexagon on A Hard Day's Night white on a black background, like it was on How I Won the War? Also what's an FGM? Fine Grain Materials? Also, did it appear on these other Dick Lester films? The Mouse on the Moon and The Knack ...and How to Get It.
How the UA Hexagon looked like in How I Won the War.
Another thing, Paul.
It appears there is a rule of thumb with regards to the UA Hexagon. The only time it appeared on a UA film from before 1967 was if it did not have a simple text notice at the very beginning, like "A United Artists Release" for example. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World most certainly did not have the hexagon at all.
A Hard Day's Night was bankrolled by United Artists. That's a difference then a pick up show. That probably would say, A United Artists Release.
I believe Lester asked Criterion to remove the UA logo.
That makes sense
There unfortunately appears to be a conflict regarding whether or not there were originally screams at the beginning of A HARD DAY'S NIGHT!
With all due respect, listening to the Miramax DVD (Which I also have, by the way.) tells me absolutely nothing! If anything, the audio that's on the Criterion Release (Especially the Monophonic Soundtrack!) in my opinion, sounds much more natural than Miramax's (Which also has the added "A Walter Shenson Production," which causes me to question its single Stereo Audio Option's authenticity!), and this did include Director Richard Lester's input and approval! Therefore, unless there is any further compelling information forthcoming, such as a recent listening to a 1964 Print (Ideally, both U.S. AND British Versions!) that confirms otherwise, I rather tend to go with the view that the Screams in the opening scene (Which was sourced from a BFI Archive Print for the Criterion Restoration.) are in fact, original! The only other possibility that comes to mind regarding this issue, is that perhaps the screams during the Film's opening were only on either the original 1964 U.S. or British Prints, but not both.
A most complicated and convoluted history the A HARD DAY'S NIGHT'S various Audio "Restorations," has indeed, had!
I actually don't get why Richard Lester would have asked for the United Artist Logo's removal if it were originally part of the Film! The exclusion of the "I'll Cry Instead" Prologue that neither he or Walter Shenson ever approved or gave permission to use with A HARD DAY'S NIGHT I do understand, and unlike the former, I have read some compelling documentation regarding this. Apparently, Richard Lester didn't like the Beatles "I'll Cry Instead" number, and didn't include it within the Film for that reason, which explains his request that it also not be included in subsequent AHDN Home Video issues after its non approved use in both the 1982 Theatrical Reissue Run and the MPI VHS/DVD issues!
Isn't it interesting that Mr. Lester didn't have the same issue with "You Can't Do That?" My guess is that time was really the only issue regarding that number's Non inclusion in the original Film!
Do you recall any other details regarding the why/s behind Richard Lester's requesting the original UA Logo's removal?
I wish I knew why he requested the Hexagon to be removed.
Given what is now known about the version with the white hexagon on black background (it appeared on most of his first 6 films for UA, including the first two Beatles movies, and possibly two others), I have officially nicknamed it "The Richard Lester Variant".
"The Richard Lester Variant." Now, that IS hilarious!
In all seriousness though, the more that I think of it, the less sense this makes! I mean, it's a logo that originally preceded A HARD DAY'S NIGHT when it first played the Theater circuit in 1964, unlike the "I'll Cry Instead" Prologue, which was only added for its 1982 Re-release, and without the permission of Walter Shenson & Richard Lester! What I find difficult to fathom, is why the Director would specifically want the United Artists Hexagon Logo to be removed from the Film!
That is why until somebody posts more substantial information as to why Richard Lester made what in my opinion, would be a very odd request to have the Opening Logo removed, I'm rather inclined to not believe this story! To me, a more plausible explanation would be that the United Artists Hexagon Logo wasn't on any of the Film elements that Criterion had access to for the A HARD DAY'S NIGHT Restoration!
You might find this article about Ron Furmanek and restoring the Beatles footage of interest: http://wogew.blogspot.com/2014/07/ron-furmanek-and-his-work-for-beatles.html
Bob, I have never seen those unique images from the shelved 1992 remastering of Let It Be. those are cool.
On a side note, it was the only Beatles film to retain its original United Artists logo (1968 version) at the start of it, when Magnetic Video released it in 1981. It looked a bit fuzzy, too, because the print was cropped from 35mm widescreen. Did the UA logo get replaced on the 1992 remaster of Let It Be?
I am also never getting rid of my 1988 VHS copy of MMT. The current versions do not use the film version of the title track, like the 1988 one did.
I RESTORED MMT, AS WELL.
Lester just preferred the film start without a logo. No big story.
But then how does one explain the fact that it is intact on the MGM DVD of How I Won the War, also a Richard Lester film?
There was also a special variant of this logo that was in grungy Roman letters. That one appeared on yet another Richard Lester film: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and IS also intact on its MGM DVD.
Because on that disc nobody asked his opinion?
There's a 16mm print on eBay with the original UA logo:
Wow. And it looks great, too!
Too bad it's gonna get really expensive later on!
Here's a link to a recent article by Mark Hurwitz that details A HARD DAY'S NIGHT'S 4K Restoration for the 50th Anniversary Criterion Blu-Ray/DVD Release: http://www.studiodaily.com/2014/08/beatlemania-in-black-white-restoring-a-hard-days-night-in-4k/
Among other things, this article confirms that the Fan Screams in the Opening Sequence were NOT (To Ron & Bob Furmanek: I do stand corrected on this point!) in the Film's original release, but were included in the Criterion Restoration at AHDN Director Richard Lester's request, who had apparently wanted them included originally! On the other hand, these were described as having been culled from isolated Fan Screams that were recorded for the AHDN Television Sequence for the current Criterion issue and thus, could not have been in earlier A HARD DAY'S NIGHT releases, at least not in its current form!
The above article is, in my opinion, highly recommended reading, especially as it details just what went into this most comprehensive process!