Set against the backdrop of Beatlemania, I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978) centers on the comical quest of six New Jersey teens to see the Beatles at their 1964 performance on the set of the The Ed Sullivan Show. Robert Zemeckis’ directorial debut imagines the power of a musical phenomenon to shape a cultural moment. One of the first collaborations between writers Zemeckis and Bob Gale and producer Steven Spielberg, I Wanna Hold Your Hand is the story of fans whose persistence is matched only by a musical revolution that won’t be stopped.
Actress Nancy Allen (Carrie, Robocop) and co-writer Bob Gale (Back to the Future) joined moderator Joe Palladino (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion.
Actress Nancy Allen
Nancy Allen is a Golden Globe-nominated actress and star of numerous films and television shows, including Carrie (1976), I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), 1941 (1979), Dressed to Kill (1980), Poltergeist III (1988), Out of Sight (1998) and the Robocop trilogy. Her television work includes The Outer Limits, The Commish, The Division, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She is the executive director of the weSPARK Cancer Support Center.
Screenwriter Bob Gale
Bob Gale is an Oscar-nominated screenwriter-producer-director, best known as co-creator, co-writer, and co-producer of Back to the Future (1985) and its sequels. Gale was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Cinema from the University of Southern California in 1973. He has written over 30 screenplays and his other film credits include 1941 (1979), I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), Used Cars (1980), Trespass (1992), and Interstate 60 (2002). In addition to screenplays, Gale has written comic books including issues of Spider Man, Batman, and IDW’s Back to the Future title, and has also served as an expert witness in over 25 plagiarism cases. Gale lives in Southern California with his wife and dog.
Moderator Joe Palladino
Joe Palladino has been the Academic Advisor of the UCSB Film and Media Studies Department since 1996. He is the founder of Word Farm, a three-day screenwriting camp now well into its second decade. He serves as the advisor for Reel Loud Film Festival, Focus Media Journal, Graphic Voices, and Women in Media. He has served as the moderator of past the Pollock Theater’s Q&As including Trouble with Tribbles and 1941. His short film The Secret Ingredient played in the 2013 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center, the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music (CISM), and KCSB-FM.
When the Beatles burst onto the musical scene in the early 1960s, they reflected the era’s great idealism and its frenzy of political protest and debate, producing music that would become synonymous with the decade itself. The CWC’s winter series Beatles Revolutions examines the ways in which the band was central to broader revolutions in music, culture, and politics. The series spans documentary, animation, and fictionalized versions of the Beatles’ lives, and will feature distinguished guests who have written about, toured with, and produced music for the Beatles.