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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978)
(2016 Reissue)


Starring: Nancy Allen, Bobby Di Cicco, Marc McClure, Susan Kendall Newman, Theresa Saldana and Wendie Jo Sperber
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £19.99

Certificate: 12
Release Date: 20 June 2016

The year is 1964, The Beatles are about to arrive in the U.S., and young America has gone completely wild. Hoping to be part of this historical moment are six hysterical New Jersey teenagers who will stop at nothing to see the Fab Four in person. Embarking on the wildest road trip of their young lives, the friends reach New York City, where they are determined to beat the odds and see the band in their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance...

I Wanna Hold Your Hand was directed and co-written by Robert Zemeckis, who would go on to direct the Back to the Future movies. In fact this was his first movie and as such is quite an impressive debut.

The movie follows a group of Beatles fans who are ecstatic to learn that the Fab Four will be coming to New York City in order to make an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. They go about trying to gain access to the hotel the Beatles are staying in in a bid to catch just a glimpse of them.

And that's just about it as far as synopsis goes: group of Beatles fans try to meet their heroes. Of course, there's more to it than that and some of the scrapes they get into are quite humorous. However, there's one scene that I just couldn't understand. Pam (Nancy Allen) isn't that much of Beatles fan, and is just going along with everything to help her friends. However, when she finally makes it, accidentally, into the Beatles's empty hotel room she goes a bit crazy; practically performing a sex act on George Harrison's guitar. It seemed out of place - and a little creepy. God only knows what was going through Zemeckis's mind.

The Beatles are never seen other than in the background or partially through doors and from underneath the bed where Pam hides. There's a great little trick at the end of the film where they perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. The real footage of the band's appearance is played on black and white monitors facing the audience and the doubles can be partly seen obscured by cameras and other elements of the studio.

For those that fondly remember the movie this might be worth picking up. It's a film that I wouldn't turn off if it were to be on TV, but I don't think it's one I'd want to watch again in a hurry.

For extras we get a Photo Gallery and Trailer (1 min, 14 sec).


Darren Rea

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