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New Beatles 'A Hard Day's Night' DVD, Blu-ray resurrects stereo music track

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The Criterion Collection on March 17 finally released details of its forthcoming (and rumored) DVD and Blu-ray releases of the Beatles' first film “A Hard Day's Night.” And it appears this time, unlike with the Miramax release, Apple is along for the ride.

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According to the company's website, the new DVDs, to be released June 24 (not July 21 as reported by NME, though that may be a UK release date), will feature a new 4K digital film restoration, approved by director Richard Lester with both a monaural soundtrack and a new 5.1 surround soundtrack made by Apple Records and be released on a single disc DVD and a three-disc dual format version with both regular DVD and Blu-ray. The dual format version will also have uncompressed monaural and DTS-HD Master Audio, and dual audio commentary featuring various members of the film’s cast and crew and several other extras.

Included on both versions will be “In Their Own Voices,” a new behind-the-scenes documentary with Beatles interviews from 1964 plus behind-the-scenes footage and photos and “You Can’t Do That: The Making of “A Hard Day’s Night,” the 1994 documentary program by producer Walter Shenson that was previously released by MPI on DVD, a deleted scene, trailers and an essay by critic Howard Hampton.

The extras only on the dual format version will be “Things They Said Today,” the 2002 documentary about the film featuring Lester, music producer George Martin, writer Alun Owen, cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, and others that was released with the Miramax DVD version; a new short about director Richard Lester’s early work that includes a new audio interview with Lester; Lester's Oscar-nominated short “The Running Jumping and Standing Still Film” from 1959 with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan (dual-format only); “Anatomy of a Style,” about Lester’s approach to editing; and an interview with Mark Lewisohn, author of “Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years—Volume One.”

Criterion previously released “A Hard Day's Night” on the now-abandoned Laserdisc format, as did MPI, which also released “A Hard Day's Night” on VHS and DVD. You can read Rick Holland's comparison of the laserdisc and, at the time, new DVD releases of the Beatles movies on our Abbeyrd site.

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