Harris Extensions

lester harris from David Cairns on Vimeo.

Another story from Richard Lester. This one is not just about hair and drunken actors, as might seem to be the case on the surface — it’s about Lester’s manic need to be always progressing through the day’s shot list, rather than wasting time and money waiting for things to happen. So whatever the circumstances, find a way to shoot something and a way to use what you shoot, because if film isn’t going through the camera, time is literally a-wasting!

The movie is JUGGERNAUT and the sole reason for giving this anecdote a video treatment is it’s kind of nice to see the story he’s telling illustrated with the actual bit, so we know he’s not making it up.

The longer piece from which this scene was deleted is here.

My piece for Criterion on A HARD DAY’S NIGHT also appears on the UK disc from Second Sight —

A Hard Day’s Night: 50th Anniversary Restoration [Blu-ray]

Our next deleted scene will look at THE RITZ.


6 Responses to “Harris Extensions”

  1. It’s his ‘lucky’ hat!

  2. His lucky bomb-defusing hat, yes.

  3. I can imagine some fudged-up reason about needing to keep sweaty, dripping hair (extensions) out of one’s eyes and resorting to putting on a hat.

    I’m really starting to like the sound of Richard Lester’s voice.

  4. He sounds sort of Canadian or something, doesn’t he? A thoroughly anglicized American.

    I like his voice too — I have to make some progress on my next film project so I have an excuse to call him and tell him about it!

  5. Mike Clelland Says:

    I remember this scene clearly from my youth when I saw this movie with my father. I remember him putting that hat on, and it had a tidy kind of “sailor” getting down to business vibe. It worked for me then.

  6. Good, he got away with it!

    It’s a great Dads movie. Or, as a friend says, a great “Sunday evening out-the-bath” movie.

    Lester felt one of the dreadful things about filmmaking is you spent a lot of ingenuity coming up with excuses like this to be able to continue filming, and got no credit for it when the audience saw the finished film.

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