Though he was born in America, Richard Lester would go on to become the definitive chronicler of swinging-sixties Britain, encapsulating the anarchic energy of the era with his exuberantly inventive, freewheeling style. It was thanks to his short THE RUNNING JUMPING & STANDING STILL FILM—a proto–Monty Python bit of slapstick absurdism made in collaboration with Peter Sellers—that Lester came to the attention of the Beatles, who tapped him to direct their film debut A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, an exhilaratingly irreverent pop-culture sensation that immortalized the Fab Four at the height of their fame and paved the way for the modern music video. In his subsequent films, Lester has moved between experimental personal projects such as the haunting Summer of Love elegy PETULIA and commercial triumphs like the rollicking all-star swashbuckler THE THREE MUSKETEERS and the poignant, revisionist Robin Hood tale ROBIN AND MARIAN, starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn in a rare late-career performance.
In this 1998 documentary directed by Stacy Cochran (MY NEW GUN) and shot by cinematographer Robert Elswit (MAGNOLIA), the filmmakers spend an afternoon talking with Richard Lester in the English countryside. The documentary’s playful style emulates Lester's own creative approach.
Directed by Richard Lester • 1959 • United Kingdom
This film, directed by Richard Lester, was shot over two Sundays in 1959 for a cost of about seventy pounds. Nominated for an Oscar for best live-action short, it features Lester, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Graham Stark, and Bruce Lacey.
Directed by Richard Lester • 1964 • United Kingdom
Meet the Beatles! Just one month after they exploded onto the U.S. scene with their Ed Sullivan Show appearance, John, Paul, George, and Ringo began working on a project that would bring their revolutionary talent to the big screen. A HARD DAY...