Ringo Starr was the only Beatle to take part in this day’s filming for A Hard Day’s Night. His riverside scene was filmed along the River Thames towpath and embankment in Kew, Surrey, without the other Beatles being present.
Ringo Starr was praised for his acting in the scene, although he later admitted he had been hungover after a night of heavy drinking.
Getting up early in the morning wasn’t our best talent and there’s an example of that in one scene: the one for which I got really good credit, walking by the river with a camera – the ‘lonely guy’ piece. I had come directly to work from a nightclub (very unprofessional) and was a little hungover, to say the least. Dick Lester had all his people there, and the kid that I was supposed to be doing the scene with, but I had no brain. I’d gone.
We tried it several ways. They tried it with the kid doing his lines and someone off camera shouting mine. Then they had me doing the lines of the kid and the kid going ‘blah blah blah’. Or me saying, ‘And another thing, little guy…’ I was so out of it, they said, ‘Well’ let’s do anything.’ I said, ‘Let me just walk around and you film me,’ and that’s what we did. And why I look so cold and dejected is because I felt like shit. There’s no acting going on; I felt that bad.
The scene in which Starr trips over the tyre on the embankment had to be shot numerous times, as it failed to roll correctly. Eventually it was handed to the young boy, David Janson, with whom Ringo acted alongside the river; Janson rolled the tyre perfectly on his first attempt.