So, I took this movie out from the library. The fact that it turned out to be its 50th anniversary this week - and a widely touted one at that - is pretty much pure coincidence.
What to say about it? First of all, the character of John McCartney is just so very rock n' roll, if not punk rock. He's one of the better candidates for "fifth Beatle", even if he is fictional.
A lot of A Hard Day's Night is a kitchen sink comedy about Paul and the others eldersitting his grandfather. About whom see above.
Some of the song numbers, like the one below, explode with the logic of old time Hollywood musicals. That is a song that feels right will be on everyone's lips, even if it's implausible in any real world terms. The train the Fab Four are traveling on is so claustrophobic that the cars become cramped if a couple of extra people pop in, and yet here they all are playing, Ringo's trap set and everything.
Except that it's different because what's around it is different. Because the Beatles appear to be a bunch of Northern ruffians who just happen to be famous, their bursting into song feels much different from when a tuxedoed Fred Astaire does it. It's a bright, low-key kind of surrealism.