It’s 1964 and The Beatles are about to make their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.Teenage girls are losing their minds. We focus on four (with two boys in tow) who head off toNew York to try to crash the show and meet the band. Our heroines are the Shrieking Fan, theWould-Be Photographer, the New-Fiancee-Who-Has-Other-Things-On-Her-Mind and theBeatles-Hater.
This was a bomb in 1978, perhaps because it wasn’t hugely different from the sort of thing…i>Happy Days and its spin-offs were offering on TV for free. The closer viewers are tobeing able to remember Beatlemania, the more they’re likely to enjoy Zemeckis’ film. It sureain’t subtle, and Ed Sullivan impersonator comes off like an animatronic robot, but the pace isbrisk and lively and the tone very good-natured.
The 5.1 track barely shows its 28 years. There is a little bit of harshness on the dialogue, butgenerally speaking the sound is very crisp and clean. The surround effects are well done too,whether the scene is a street setting or a crowded record shop. Any limitations on the quality ofthe music are, of course, those of the original recordings.
The print too is in excellent shape, with nary a bit of grain or speckling. There isn’t any edgeenhancement difficulty either. The reds may sometimes be a bit strong, but otherwise the coloursare very rich and true, and the blacks are excellent. The format is 1.85:1 anamorphicwidescreen.
Robert Zemeckis revisits his directorial debut on the commentary, in company with co-writerand associate producer Bob Gale. Gale tends to dominate the conversation, but there areplenty of memories to go round, even if the pair do sometimes interrupt themselves just asthey’re getting to a point. The only other extra is a photo gallery. The menu is basic.
Harmless, agreeable fun, if hardly deathless filmmaking. For an older film (your critic wrote,feeling old himself), the video and sound are in fine shape.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Photo Gallery