I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978)

 

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Robert Zemeckis directs Theresa Saladana, Nancy Allen and Wendy Jo Sperber in this day in the life of a group of teens trying to see The Beatles in person on the historic date of their Ed Sullivan Show appearance. 

A popping little screwball teen comedy where the energetic direction and mugging (but sincere) performances match the youthful beat of the iconic band this centres around. It shares a shocking amount of its DNA with the later smash Back to the Future… and not just in the talent in front and behind the camera or in the beautiful recreating of a nostalgic moment of teen history that manages to be accessible to a more modern audience. By the end we have a prototype of one of BTTF’s most famous scenes, a generational changing pop performance, characters precariously hanging off structures in lightning storms, automobiles racing against the clock down empty streets and unlikely teen soul mates finding each other. Stand out performances include Sperber as the most gawkily obsessive Beatles fan and Allen as the good girl dragged along, who after the most intimate encounter with barely glimpsed but terribly accented Fab Four realises there is more to life than just being some boy’s fiancée. Yet everyone hits good laughs and sweet moments, no plot threads dangle about long enough to snag the forward propulsion. The soundtrack is unsurprisingly excellent too. A forgotten treat.

7

 

 

 

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