A Hard Day’s Night in 4K for the US market

Released in Japan for the first time in 4K for the home video market earlier this year.

In early 2021, The Beatles’ first film, “A Hard Day’s Night” was made available in Japan for the home video market for the first time in 4K (Ultra High Definition disc) by Dreamusic. A USA edition in 4K (Combo: Ultra High Definition + standard Blu-ray disc) has now been announced for that market with a release date of January 18, 2022, by the Criterion Collection (Amazon link).


  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Richard Lester, with three audio options—a monaural soundtrack as well as stereo and 5.1 surround mixes supervised by sound producer Giles Martin at Abbey Road Studios—presented in uncompressed monaural, uncompressed stereo, and DTS-HD Master Audio.
  • One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray disc with the film and special features.
  • Audio commentary featuring cast and crew.
  • In Their Own Voices, a program featuring 1964 interviews with the Beatles and behind-the-scenes footage and photos.
  • “You Can’t Do That”: The Making of “A Hard Day’s Night,” a 1994 documentary by producer Walter Shenson including an outtake performance by the Beatles.
  • Things They Said Today, a 2002 documentary about the film featuring Lester, music producer George Martin, screenwriter Alun Owen, and cinematographer Gilbert Taylor.
  • Picturewise, a program about Lester’s early work, featuring a 2014 audio interview with the director.
  • The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1960), Lester’s Oscar-nominated short.
  • Anatomy of a Style, a 2014 program on Lester’s methods.
  • Interview from 2014 with Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn.
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Howard Hampton and excerpts from a 1970 interview with Lester.

Hopefully, the “You Can’t Do That” feature will end with the full song, it has been known to be missing on earlier releases. And one other thing: So far, only bootleg editions of the film have been able to speed correct the songs. We must admit that we are not counting on an official edition to accomplish the same thing.

So when will we see a 4K edition for the European market and elsewhere?

A popular thing to do these days, is to apply colours to original black and white films. It was done professionally by Ron Howard for his “Eight Day’s A Week” documentary. On YouTube, fans have been having fun colourising scenes from “A Hard Day’s Night”.


10 Responses

  1. Blakey says:

    The colourisation things only work if done by specialists. If a professional does it, like the All You Need Is Love clip or the Planet of the Daleks episodes of Doctor Who, then it can look good. But the Youtube attempts on programmes like Steptoe & Son and Beatles or Stones clips look awful. Always the same dull shades and every one has the same hair and skin tones. John Lennon’s hair is never the right shade for a start.

  2. I am not really interested in 4k. The blu-ray already have all the details which was there anyway. Bring on the Let Be, Shea blu-rays and maybe an Anthology blu-ray box.

  3. Scott C. says:

    There is no way that Criterion would ever speed correct the songs. It’s not accurate to the original theatrical version. I already own the Japanese release, and it’s definitely an improvement on the Blu Ray. I can’t say for sure whether it has You Can’t Do That at the end though. I’ll need to check.

  4. vern gibbons says:

    i’m waiting for the 8k

  5. Will says:

    If Google translate is reading the Japanese Amazon page correctly, then the Japanese 4K disc seems to have an addiional mono soundtrack (presumably the audio commentary?) and contains the trailer, while the new Criterion disc misses the trailer, but has the Running, Jumping film. So the Criterion edition is probably ahead on contents, but the Japanese packaging looks a lot nicer.

    I’m not sure I would expect Europe to get its own 4K edition, given streaming, Plus 4K discs will play in any region.

  6. Doug Pratt says:

    I’ll let my friend Prudence know there’s yet another release of AHDN. Prue is the girl with Pattie in the dining car. John took her to task a bit for not seeming to be more of a fan, but her background was as a “posh bird” from the Royal Ballet School. Prue’s boyfriends included the future Lord Snowdon and Roger Moore. Prue’s future husband was Terry, who she suggested to Shenson and Lester as a good candidate to play the croupier in the casino, as that was his job anyway. Terry would reprise the role a year later in an episode of Secret Agent/Danger Man.

  7. William Campbell says:

    Criterion’s 4K disc is defective.

    At 1:24:43, the wrong scene is shown. It should be of the helicopter, not back in the studio with someone adjusting the monitors while The Beatles are performing on stage. The Blu-ray disc is fine because it’s the same disc that was released in 2014.

    To get a replacement 4K disc, e-mail Jon Mulvaney at Criterion, via their contact page: https://www.criterion.com/contact_us

    The discs should be available in the second half of March 2022.

Leave a Reply