“Being middle-aged and all takes up most of your time, doesn’t it?”

With Emmy news immanent and various television items kind of sucking up all the oxygen, it’s a pretty slow day for movie news, give or take an item about a movie Denzel Washington is “looking” to be in or some critical meta-gazing on the ever-bashable Armond White.

Nevertheless, today just happens to be 70th birthday of young Ringo Starr. Joke all you want but, his hugely considerable skills as a drummer and all-around musician aside, Ringo was always the best acting Beatle. With his comically melancholy mien, he was something of a natural but apparently just kind of got bored with it. That’s a shame, but we’ll always have Ringo’s performance in the centerpiece of the most influential rock and roll film ever made.

  

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“Robin and Marian” — your weekend online viewing tip

Crackle is offering up the entirety of what I’m pretty sure will stand as the greatest revisionist film about Robin Hood ever made. Directed by the underrated Richard Lester (“A Hard Day’s Night,” among many others) and with a knockout, if not 100% taut, screenplay by James Goldman (‘The Lion in Winter”), this clearly post-Vietnam view of Robin Hood is bitter and comic and bracingly cynical about the bloodthirsty nature of power, while being ravishingly romantic about true love. It helped solidify Sean Connery’s post-Bond career and started a late career comeback for 47 year-old Audrey Hepburn, more moving than ever.  Since this was the mid-seventies, Robert Shaw was the villain — though Richard Harris’s genocidal Lionheart wasn’t exactly nice — and was absolutely perfect as a badass Sheriff of Nottingham. Imperfect, perhaps, but all in all, pretty hard to top.

If you just want a taste right now, here’s a slightly corny trailer that will give you some idea of what you’re in for.

H/t to my currently blog-less friend Zayne for this one.

  

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Director Richard Lester invents the rock video

Figuring out a more natural way to present the playing of music with an assist from the French New Wave directors in “A Hard Day’s Night.”

Moving from enormous charm to more visual sophistication and a new color palette in “Help!

It’s important, of course, to acknowledge the contribution to these scenes of two great cinematographers, Gilbert Taylor and David Watkin. The Beatles were also kind of helpful.

  

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