Hard Day’s Night, A

Date: 1964
Director: Richard Lester
Production Company: Proscenium Films, Walter Shenson Films, Maljack Productions

Stars: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Wilfrid Brambell
Location(s): London, Middlesex, Somerset, West Sussex

Region(s): , ,

Storyline:

Bound for a London show, the Beatles escape a horde of fans at the station before Paul’s grandfather causes minor problems and they lose Ringo.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

Parts of the train sequence in the first 15 minutes of the film were shot on the Taunton to Minehead line, now the West Somerset Railway. Tim King has written an article here www.wsr.org.uk/beatles.htm which has a nice photo gallery.

 

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The film opens with John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr running to the station followed by a mob of fans. Paul Thompson identifies this as Boston place at the side of Marylebone station in London NW1.

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And Mark Myers provides a comparison picture which shows that the location is fairly unchanged.

The crowd follows the three musicians into the station. Marylebone Station on Melcombe Place in NW1.

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From a similar viewpoint.

John, Ringo and George avoid the screaming hoard. Behind a screen that once stood between the concourse and the refreshment rooms at Marylebone station.

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Not completely convinced I've got the right spot. SJ.

Finding no way out, the boys climb over the screen and escape on a luggage barrow as its towed away.

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Again, right architecture but right place? SJ

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Paul McCartney waits beside the train with his Grandfather (Wilfrid Brambell). Looking along platform 1 at Marylebone station.

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On the journey to London, the Fab Four lark about when a grumpy gent sits in their reserved compartment. Through the window is Crowcombe railway station, Bakers Orchard near Crowcombe in Somerset. The station is now operated by the West Somerset Railway and was renamed Crowcombe Heathfield in 1991.

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In the buffet car, Norm (Norman Rossington) argues with Shake.

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The train arrives in London where more fans are held back by a police cordon. Marylebone station again.

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A row of taxis stands in front of the band's limousine. Platforms 2 and 3 now occupy the site of the carriage road at Marylebone station.

The screaming fans flock around as John, Paul, George and Ringo run for their car. Marylebone station has been seen in many productions including 'The Beauty Jungle', 'The Ipcress File', 'Smashing Time' and 'Carry On Girls'.

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I wonder why they changed the glassing in the roof. Certainly lighter. SJ

The car inches it's way through the throng outside the station. The frontage of Marylebone Station on Melcombe Place.

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And now, in colour.

The fans begin to follow as the camera tracks the limousine.

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Facing the corner of Boston Place and Melcombe Place outside Marylebone station.

Panning round on Melcombe Place brings the trees of Dorset Square into view.

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A similar view now. SJ.

The corner of Great Central Street and Melcombe Place in London NW1.

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Not so many people in this comparison. (PW)

The fans disappear into the distance. Great Central Street with Marylebone Road in the distance.

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The same location.

The limousine approaches the studio where the boys are to perform. Alongside the now demolished Scala Theatre on Scala Street in London W1 with Whitfield Street in the extreme right background.

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A bit of change here! Picture by Peter.

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Before another rehearsal, the lads give Norm the slip. This is one of the fire exits at the back of the Hammersmith Odeon in W6 and in the bottom right can be seen the roof of St. Augustine's church across Fulham Palace Road.

The Beatles run down the fire escape. Simon James identifies this as the rear of the Hammersmith Apollo. The venue was opened as the Gaumont Palace and renamed Hammersmith Odeon in 1962.

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The rear of the Apollo, known as such since the 1990s and much loved by Beatles London tours, but not always accessible. SJ

At the bottom of the stairs, the band cross discarded theatrical items. The rear of the Apollo on Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith.

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Neil Rigby provided this Bing aerial shot showing the sloping roof of the Hammersmith Apollo.

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And onto a field where they fool about to 'Can't buy me love'. Thornbury Playing Fields in Isleworth, Middlesex.

On your marks . . . . Thornbury Playing Fields between London Road and Woodlands Road in Isleworth.

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Mark Myers provides this comparison which was taken in September 2009. This part of the playing field is here taken up by Stanborough Road and the background office block has since given way to recent redevelopment.

When Ringo goes missing, John, George and Paul look for him outside the theatre. The Scala Theatre's stage door on Tottenham Street W1.

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Peter advises that the right hand column in the screen capture would be roughly in line with the red car's windscreen.

In another part of London, Ringo wanders the streets with his camera. Lancaster Road W11 with St. Luke's Road in the background.

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Same season 50 years later. SJ

An artistic shot of some milk bottles. The corner of Lancaster Road and St. Luke's Road in Notting Hill.

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"No milk today." SJ

Two girls spot Ringo and chase him along the street. Facing eastward on Lancaster Road.

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Fewer pillars, more fencing. SJ

Ringo dives into a bric-a-brac shop at the end of the street. This is the corner of Lancaster Road and All Saints Road which was also seen in 'Seven Green Bottles'.

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Pots replacing the "empty tables and chairs." SJ

Emerging from the shop wearing an overcoat and a cap, the Beatle isn't recognised. Looking north on All Saints Road in W11.

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Smart new railings now, and the buildings on Tavistock Crescent in the distance replaced. SJ

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After more walking around, Ringo soon finds himself down by the river.

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Ringo pulls himself up the steep embankment on the Kew side of the River Thames. Across the river is Brentford and in the right of centre background stands the chimney of Kew Bridge Pumping Station.

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A Young Boy (David Janson) throws stones into the water with Ringo. Beyond Brentford Ait, in the right background stands the gas holder of Brentford Gas Works.

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A Policeman (Roger Avon) watches as Ringo is told to leave a pub after causing chaos. Outside the Turk's Head public house on St. Margaret's Grove, Twickenham in Middlesex.

Paul's Grandfather is arrested for selling autographed photos. Scala Street with Charlotte Street in the left distance.

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The same location by Peter.

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Ringo comes across a young woman who's trying to get through a muddy work site. Edgehill Road at the junction with Lakeside in London W13.

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Being a gentleman, Ringo places his overcoat on the ground and helps the woman through the puddles. Edgehill Road with buildings on Lakeside to the right.

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Unfortunately, Ringo is arrested when one of the puddles turns out to be a hole. Edgehill Road in West Ealing.

After escaping from the police station, Paul's Grandfather avoids more officers outside the theatre. Looking from the entrance of Charlotte Mews into Tottenham Street.

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Peter took this shot from a the same viewpoint. Note the ironwork in the pavement.

The rest of the band arrive to release Ringo from police custody. This was St. John's Secondary School on Clarendon Road in Notting Hill W11. The building has been demolished but the replacement apartment block echoes parts of the design.

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Next to The Clarendon Hotel, a long closed pub, sharing a corner with Portland Road.

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A Thief (John Bluthal) tries the door of a car before the band run past followed by policemen. In the background is the mostly demolished St. Luke’s Church at the corner of St. Luke’s Road and Tavistock Road in W11.

Whilst fleeing from the police station, the boys run into a dead end.

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John P advises that this dead end lies between Nottingwood House and Walmer Road in London W11 and provides this Google Streetview© image of the location now.

The band finally make their way back to the theatre. The entrance to Charlotte Mews on Tottenham Street.

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Charlotte Mews taken by Peter over 50 years later.

Police hold back the fans queuing to see the concert. Looking north-east on Tottenham Street, London W1.

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The same background appears in this picture by Peter.

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After the performance, a helicopter waits to fly The Beatles away. IMDB suggests that this is Gatwick Airport near Crawley, West Sussex and Hugh Gilson believes that this is actually the old Gatwick Airport adding that "The present airport was built about 2miles away and was separated from the old airport by the A23 road. The old airport has the famous “ Beehive” terminal which is still standing."