Denis O’Dell, Producer of Beatles Film ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ Dies at 98

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Denis O’Dell, producer of The Beatles films including “A Hard Day’s Night’ and “Magical Mystery Tour” (1967,) has died at age 98.

O’Dell’s son Arran O’Dell confirmed to The Associated Press that his father died overnight at his house in Almería, in southeast Spain. He said the family planned a local private service and a memorial service at a later date in the United Kingdom.

Other Denis O’Dell movie credits include Brian Desmond Hurst’s “The Playboy of the Western World” in 1962, “The Deadly Affair” (1967), “Juggernaut”(1974) and “Robin and Marian” (1974).

O’Dell was an associate producer of The Beatles’ first film, “A Hard Day’s Night,” and “How I Won the War,” in which John Lennon appeared as a supporting actor. He also produced “The Magic Christian,” which featured Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. O’Dell became a director of The Beatles’ organization, Apple Corps, and the head of Apple Films.

In 2003, O’Dell penned a memoir of his time with The Beatles called “At the Apple’s Core: The Beatles from the Inside.” According to a description of the book on Amazon, it details an intimate relationship between O’Dell and the Fab Four that included hosting a press conference with The Beatles in New York for the launch of Apple and being invited by the group to join them at the Maharishi’s meditation academy in India.

The late movie critic Roger Ebert wrote of “Hard Day’s Night” in 1996:

“When it opened in September, 1964, “A Hard Day’s Night” was a problematic entry in a disreputable form, the rock ‘n’ roll musical. The Beatles were already a publicity phenomenon (70 million viewers watched them on “The Ed Sullivan Show”), but they were not yet cultural icons. Many critics attended the movie and prepared to condescend, but the movie could not be dismissed: It was so joyous and original that even the early reviews acknowledged it as something special. After more than three decades, it has not aged and is not dated; it stands outside its time, its genre and even rock. It is one of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies.”

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