Before there was Bieber Fever, there was Beatlemania, and in I Wanna Hold Your Hand (the first film from director Robert Zemeckis), the insane fanfare over John, Paul, George, and Ringo is captured to great comic effect. The year is 1964, and four young lads from Liverpool are about to make their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. Meanwhile in New Jersey, four teen girls are on their way to New York City to meet the Fab Four in person. Rosie (Wendie Jo Sperber) wants to profess her love to her beloved Paul, aspiring journalist Grace (Theresa Saldana) wants to capture a photo to sell to Life magazine, Janis (Susan Kendall Newman) wants to confront them publicly about their lack of artistic integrity, and Pam (Nancy Allen) is just along for the ride. The four come up with an ingenious plan to pull up in front of the Beatles's hotel in a limo. Grace convinces Larry (Marc McClure) to drive them to Manhattan in one of the limousines from his father's undertaking business, and ladies' man greaser Tony (Bobby DiCicco) - with designs on Janis - tags along. When the sextet hits the Big Apple, the fun really begins.
We miss you, Wendie Jo.
This fun film is full of firsts. In addition to being Zemeckis's first film, it is also the debut of popular 80s character actors Eddie Deezen and the late Wendie Jo Sperber, and some of the best moments in the film are when these two gifted comics share the screen. From executive producer Stephen Spielberg, I Wanna Hold Your Hand is a wild remembrance of the baby boomer generation's coming-of-age.
This film has been largely (and unjustly) forgotten, so a trailer is a bit hard to come by. Instead, here's a look at what everyone was so excited about in 1964.