This user is offline.Padawan Learner
Could someone please preserve A Hard Day's Night? The current DVD is cropped from the original academy ratio, and the original mono soundtrack is replaced with a horrendous stereo/5.1 one. Basically, it's a mess. The original full screen DVD is out of print, but Criterion did release a laserdisc, in addition to the original DVD, and tapes. If someone could find a way to restore it, or has a better copy, that would be fab!
This user is offline.aka Pancakes
Seeing as how it was released in 1964, my guess would be that it was shot and intended for a 1.66:1 (or thereabouts) aspect ratio, but shot open-matte (like the Back to the Future films). Because of the prevalence of 1.33:1 televisions in the past, the "open-matte" version has probably been the only one available until the new DVD restored the 1.66:1 ratio (much like the recent Stanley Kubrick DVDs, like The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut).
This would mean that the top and bottom of the screen - which was, from the time it was shot, intended to be masked off when shown in a theater - have been visible when they weren't meant to be from the time it was first released on home video until this new DVD came out. Which simply means that you got used to the old (incorrect) "unmatted" formatting, and the new (correct) formatting seems wrong to you because you see less information than you did before.
Besides, the current DVD doesn't have a 5.1 soundtrack, it only has stereo. The Blu-Ray from Canada is the only disc (to my knowledge) that has 5.1 audio.
This user is offline.Everything is a psyop!
A few years back, I got hold of a very rare original MPI VHS version of this film. This version contains the long out of print original mono film soundtrack as it was heard in theaters back in 1964. You see, the film producers had at that time been given unique mono mixes of most (if not all) of the film songs. These song mixes differ slightly from both the U.S. and U.K. mono album/single mixes that most fans are used to hearing.
I was always under the impression that the late 80's re-release of the MPI VHS and the 1990's DVD release, had only the film songs replaced with U.K. album stereo mixes, but maintained the mono speaking track (albeit cleaned up). This is the version where during the song "If I fell" George leans up against his amplifier, it tips over, yet does not make a sound (as it does in the original mono film mix).
The big problem with the 1964 original mono soundtrack is that the songs sound muddy, and very distorted. I believe that is why the song mixes had been replaced during the late 1980's restoration. The Criterion LD (that I also own) has the stereo song restoration soundtrack, but keeps the open-matte. The new Miramax DVD has the originally intended theatrical aspect ratio, but they replaced the 1980's restoration stereo song mixes with common U.K. album mono mixes, not the original film version mono mixes that most likely have long since vanished from the United Artists vaults (or what is left of them).
The new DVD did add a newly re-created sound effect of George's amp falling over on top of the song.
And another thing is, the MPI DVD has some horrible video noise and digital artifacts all over it.
I do have the original mono film soundtrack preserved on digital PCM files (dubbed from my VHS), and would be willing to supply it to anyone wanting to take on a "A Hard Days Night" project.
Just PM me...
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