A Hard Day's Night is best reviewed film ever

Critics say they love A Hard Day's Night. Who's to argue?
Critics say they love A Hard Day's Night. Who's to argue?

The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night is the best reviewed movie of all time - so says Rotten Tomatoes, which just compiled a list called, appropriately enough, the "50 Best Reviewed Movies Of All Time."

The 1964 black-and-white rock 'n' roll comedy scored a whopping 100% Fresh ranking - out of the 70 reviews counted - putting The Fab Four's cinematic debut, directed by Richard Lester, at the toppermost of the poppermost.

Outranks Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Casablanca

"Witty one-liners, classic pop songs and world-class charm build up to happy-go-lucky moments of liberation" Rotten Tomatoes on A Hard Day's Night

While this will no doubt come as sweet news to the millions of Beatles fans around the world, the fact that A Hard Day's Night, a madcap knockabout filmed at the height of Beatlemania, outranks spoolers such as Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Casablanca and other various and sundry masterpieces might be something of a shock.

Still, it should be noted that Lester's breathless form of guerrilla filmmaking and fast-paced editing presaged music videos and MTV.

Hampered by time constraints and a half-a-shoestring budget, the director had no choice but to rely on nothing more than his own impetuous creativity, Alun Owen's sharp-witted screenplay, The Beatles' sheer brilliance and magnetism, plus one "clean old man."

In its consensus of A Hard Day's Night, Rotten Tomatoes writes, "Despite its age, [it's] still a delight to watch and has proven itself to be a rock-and-roll movie classic. Witty one-liners, classic pop songs and world-class charm build up to happy-go-lucky moments of liberation that capture the sheer exuberance, innocence and rock n' roll spirit of four young men trying to make their own rules in a world determined to confine them."

So, without further ado, here's the Top 10.

1. A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Director: Richard Lester
Starring The Beatles, Wilford Brambell

2. The Third Man (1949)
Director: Carol Reed
Starring Orsen Welles, Joseph Cotten

3. The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
Director: Victor Fleming, King Vidor
Starring Judy Garland, Jack Haley, Ray Bolger

4. Modern Times (1939)
Director: Charlie Chaplin
Starring Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard

5. The Godfather (1972)
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall

6. Dr Strangelove (1964)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring Peter Sellers, George C Scott, Sterling Hayden

7. King Kong (1933)
Director: Merian C Cooper, Ernest Schoedsack
Starring Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot

8. Metropolis (1927)
Director: Fritz Lang
Staring Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel

9. All About Eve (1950)
Director: Joseph L Mankiewicz
Staring Betty Davis, Anne Baxter

10. Singin' In The Rain (1952)
Director: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor

To review the complete list of films 11-50, visit the official Rotten Tomatoes website.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.