What book is Ringo Starr reading in ‘A Hard Day’s Night’?

After 57 years, finally found the answer to this question? What book is Beatles drummer Ringo Starr reading in the 1964 film “A Hard Day’s Night”?

Here it is, right at the top of Google:


Not sure why IMDB uses Sir before Paul and Ringo. Neither one had the title in the Sixties.

The scene in which Ringo the paperback reader is reading “Anatomy of a Murder” is with Paul’s grandfather, played by Wilfrid Brambell. Here’s a screenshot from IMDB of the exchange between the two as they sit in the commissary of a London TV studio:


Ringo was 23 at the time and Brambell was 51.

Now, back to the present. Went to the Target website for a synopsis of “Anatomy of a Murder.”

“First published by St. Martin’s in 1958, Robert Traver’s Anatomy of a Murder immediately became the number-one bestseller in America, and was subsequently turned into the successful and now classic Otto Preminger film. It is not only the most popular courtroom drama in American fiction, but one of the most popular novels of our time.”

Quite a history.

Got you a clip from the 1959 film, which stars James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Eve Arden, George C. Scott, Arthur O’Connell, Kathryn Grant, Brooks West, Orson Bean and Murray Hamilton. Duke Ellington, who did the soundtrack, also appears in the movie.

Don’t think Ringo is reading this copy of the book in “A Hard Day’s Night.” The image shows a 1959 paperback edition of the novel, which was published in 1958.


See “as only a judge could write it”?

That’s a reference to John D. Voelker, also known as Robert Traver, the Michigan Supreme Court justice’s pen name. Voelker served on the court from 1956 to 1960.

“Anatomy of a Murder” is based on a 1952 case in which Voelker was the defense attorney.

Wow, the things you can learn from Wikipedia.

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