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Beatles' 'A Hard Day's Night' screens for free Aug. 20 in South Pasadena

Beatles' 'A Hard Day's Night' screens for free Aug. 20 in South Pasadena
George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and John Lennon in "A Hard Day's Night." (Janus Films release)

The South Pasadena Public Library is making it a 1-2 punch of Beatles during its series of free summer film screenings with Thursday's presentation of the Fab Four's 1964 debut feature film, "A Hard Day's Night."

As the library did with last month's 50th anniversary screening of "Help!," the movie will be preceded by a short concert of Beatles music, this time by veteran L.A. roots music producer-songwriter-singer-instrumentalist Marvin Etzioni, formerly of Lone Justice.

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Etzioni will be accompanied during his segment by the Marvin Country! String Quartet, and the performance will include his arrangement of "Please Please Me" using a string section.

"A Hard Day's Night" premiered July 6, 1964, and the Beatles were in the midst of their meteoric rise that had included a still-unmatched record of holding all five top spots on the Billboard 100 singles chart in March of that year.

The film was shot, edited and mixed in just four months, on a budget of $500,000, and subsequently pulled in $14 million at the box office.

The title emerged when John Lennon told director Richard Lester about Ringo Starr's often creative use of language, and Lester asked for an example Lennon told him that the group's drummer had described an all-night recording session as "a hard day's night," to which Lester replied, "My God, that would make a marvelous title." He then asked Lennon and Paul McCartney to write a song using that title, the first time the songwriting partners had been commissioned to write a song.

Thursday's screening event begins at 7 p.m. with music, followed by the movie at 1115 El Centro St., South Pasadena. Information: (626) 403-7340 or at the library's website.

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