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Encyclopedia > Help! (film)
Help!
Directed by Richard Lester
Produced by Walter Shenson
Written by Charles Wood
Starring The Beatles
Leo McKern
Eleanor Bron
Mal Evans
Music by The Beatles
George Martin
Ken Thorne
Cinematography David Watkin
Editing by John Victor Smith
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) July 29, 1965
Running time 92 min.
Country U.K.
Language English
Preceded by A Hard Day's Night
Followed by Magical Mystery Tour
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Help! is a 1965 film starring the The Beatles and featuring Leo McKern, Eleanor Bron, Victor Spinetti, John Bluthal and Roy Kinnear. The soundtrack was released as an album, also called Help!. Image File history File links Helpfilm. ... Richard Lester (born January 19, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a UK based film director famous for his work with The Beatles. ... Charles Wood (born 6 August 1932 in St. ... The White Album, see The Beatles (album). ... Image:Number Two. ... Eleanor Bron (born 14 March 1938) is a British stage, film and television actress and author. ... Malcolm Mal Evans (27 May 1935 – 5 January 1976). ... The White Album, see The Beatles (album). ... For other uses, see George Martin (disambiguation). ... This article belongs in one or more categories. ... David Watkin (born March 23, 1925 in Margate, England) is an influential British cinematographer who was among the first directors of photography to experiment heavily with the usage of bounce light as a soft light source. ... The current United Artists logo (a variant was used during the 1980s). ... is the 210th day of the year (211th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country in western Europe, and a member of the European Union. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... A Hard Days Night (1964) is a British comedy film originally released by United Artists, written by Alun Owen and starring The Beatles during the height of Beatlemania. ... Magical Mystery Tour, starring The Beatles, is an hour-long television film that initially aired on BBC1 on Boxing Day in 1967. ... The White Album, see The Beatles (album). ... Image:Number Two. ... Eleanor Bron (born 14 March 1938) is a British stage, film and television actress and author. ... Victor Spinetti is a Welsh comic actor. ... John Bluthal (born 1929) is a film and television actor, mostly in comedy. ... Roy Kinnear (January 8, 1934 – September 20, 1988) was a prolific English character actor. ... In film formats, the soundtrack is the physical area of the film which records the synchronized sound. ... Help! is the fifth album released by The Beatles, the soundtrack album from their film Help!. Produced by George Martin for EMI Records, the album (in its original British form) contains seven songs that appeared in the movie of the same name, and seven that did not, including the most...

Contents

Synopsis

In the beginning, an eastern cult is about to sacrifice a woman to the goddess Kaili. Then they notice that she doesn't have the sacrificial ring on. It's revealed that Ringo Starr, drummer of the Beatles, has the ring, sent to him by the victim and her sister, who's also the high priestess (both of whom are fans of the Beatles), and it's stuck on his finger. Determined to retrieve the ring and sacrifice the woman, the great Swami, several cult members, and the high priestess leave for London. After several failed attempts to steal the ring without Ringo noticing, they confront him in an Indian restaurant. Ringo learns that if he doesn't return the ring soon, he will have to become the next sacrifice. Unfortunately, the ring is stuck and he can't take it off. The band is chased around London by members of the Indian cult of the Goddess Kaili, headed by McKern's and Bron's characters. In a desperate effort to dispose of the ring, the band resorts to the bumbling efforts of a mad scientist, played by Spinetti, and his assistant, played by Kinnear; when his equipment turns out to have no effect on the ring, the Spinetti character decides that he, too, must somehow acquire it. The band runs to the Swiss Alps and narrowly escapes a trap there, thanks to the help of the high priestess, who is secretly helping the Beatles, because her sister would have been dead if it wasn't for Ringo. To stay safe, they ask for protection from the Scotland Yard. They hide in Buckingham Palace until they are nearly captured by the scientist. From there, they run to the Bahamas, followed by the Scotland Yard officers, the scientist, and the cult members. After Ringo is nearly captured, the other Beatles pose as him in order to lure out the cult members to be arrested by the local Police. Despite their best efforts, Ringo is captured by the scientist, who intends on cutting off his finger to get the ring. The high priestess rescues Ringo by giving the scientist a shrinking solution in exchange (she intended on using the solution to shrink his finger to remove the ring). The two of them dive into the ocean to escape, but Ringo can't swim and they are both captured by the great Swami. In the end, when Ringo is about to be sacrificed, the ring suddenly comes off. Then he puts the ring on the leader of the cult, and a big attempt of sacrificing him starts. The term Eastern world refers very broadly to the various cultures, social structures and philosophical systems of the East, namely Asia (including China, India, Japan, and surrounding regions). ... This article does not discuss cult in its original sense of religious practice; for that usage see Cult (religious practice). ... A finger ring is a metal band worn as an ornament around a finger; it is the most common current meaning of the word ring. ... Richard Starkey Jr, MBE (born 7 July 1940), known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an Academy Award and Grammy Award winning English musician, singer, songwriter and actor, best known as the drummer of The Beatles. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... This article does not discuss cult in its original sense of religious practice; for that usage see Cult (religious practice). ... Statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture For the 1934 film, see, see The Goddess (1934 film). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Inspiration

The Beatles said the film was inspired by the Marx Brothers classic Duck Soup; it was also directly satirical of the James Bond series of films. At the time of the original release of Help!, its distributor, United Artists, also held the rights to the Bond series (now owned by UA sister studio MGM). Groucho, Gummo, Minnie (mother), Zeppo, Frenchy (father), Chico and Harpo. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Flemings image of James Bond; commissioned to aid the Daily Express comic strip artists. ... The current United Artists logo (a variant was used during the 1980s). ... MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ...


Production

According to interviews conducted with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Starr for The Beatles Anthology, director Richard Lester was given a larger budget for this film than he had for A Hard Day's Night thanks to the commercial success of the latter. Thus, this feature film was in colour and was shot on several exotic foreign locations. The Beatles Anthology is the name of a documentary series, a series of three albums and a book, all of which focus on the history of one of the worlds most popular rock band The Beatles. ... A Hard Days Night (1964) is a British comedy film originally released by United Artists, written by Alun Owen and starring The Beatles during the height of Beatlemania. ...


Help! was set in London, Salisbury Plain, the Austrian Alps, Providence Island in the Bahamas and Twickenham Film Studios. Ringo Starr commented in The Beatles Anthology that they were in the Bahamas for the hot weather scenes, and therefore had to wear light clothing even though it was rather cold. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... This article is about the plateau in southern England; Salisbury Plain is also an area on South Georgia Island. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Beatles Anthology is the name of a documentary series, a series of three albums and a book, all of which focus on the history of one of the worlds most popular rock band The Beatles. ...


The Beatles did not particularly enjoy the filming of the movie, nor were they particularly pleased with the end product. Lennon said in 1970 that they felt like extras in their own movie.

The Beatles with costar Eleanor Bron.
"The movie was out of our control. With A Hard Day's Night, we had a lot of input, and it was semi-realistic. But with Help!, Dick Lester didn't tell us what it was all about. I realize, looking back, how advanced it was. It was a precursor for the Batman 'Pow! Wow!' on TV -- that kind of stuff. But he never explained it to us. Partly, maybe, because we hadn't spent a lot of time together between A Hard Day's Night and Help!, and partly because we were smoking marijuana for breakfast during that period. Nobody could communicate with us, it was all glazed eyes and giggling all the time. In our own world. It's like doing nothing most of the time, but still having to rise at 7AM, so we became bored."

—John Lennon on filming Help! Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 779 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (920 × 708 pixel, file size: 726 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This image is a screenshot from a copyrighted film, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by the studio which produced... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 779 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (920 × 708 pixel, file size: 726 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This image is a screenshot from a copyrighted film, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by the studio which produced...

A contributing factor was exhaustion atrributable to their very busy schedule of writing, recording and touring. Afterwards they were hesitant to begin another film project, and indeed Help! was their last full-length scripted theatrical film. Their obligation for a third film to United Artists was met by the 1970 documentary film Let It Be. The 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine did not meet contractual obligations because it did not star the Beatles themselves, and their only live appearance was featured for less than two minutes at the film's conclusion. For the Taiwanese film whose foreign title translates to the same name, see 無米樂 Let It Be is a 1970 film about the Beatles rehearsing and recording songs for the album Let It Be in January 1969. ... For the song, see Yellow Submarine (song). ...


"Haze of marijuana"

The Beatles later said the film was shot in a "haze of marijuana". According to Ringo Starr's interviews in The Beatles Anthology, during the Austrian Alps film shooting he and Paul ran off over the hill from the "curling" scene set to smoke a joint. The Beatles Anthology is the name of a documentary series, a series of three albums and a book, all of which focus on the history of one of the worlds most popular rock band The Beatles. ... Curling is a team sport with similarities to bowls and bocce, played on a rectangular sheet of carefully prepared ice by two teams of four players each. ...

"A hell of a lot of pot was being smoked while we were making the film. It was great. That helped make it a lot of fun...In one of the scenes, Victor Spinetti and Roy Kinnear are playing curling: sliding along those big stones. One of the stones has a bomb in it and we find out that it's going to blow up, and have to run away. Well, Paul and I ran about seven miles, we ran and ran, just so we could stop and have a joint before we came back. We could have run all the way to Switzerland. If you look at pictures of us you can see a lot of red-eyed shots; they were red from the dope we were smoking. And these were those clean-cut boys! Dick Lester knew that very little would get done after lunch. In the afternoon we very seldom got past the first line of the script. We had such hysterics that no one could do anything. Dick Lester would say, 'No, boys, could we do it again?' It was just that we had a lot of fun -- a lot of fun in those days."

—Ringo Starr

In the Beatles Anthology Director's Cut, George Harrison admitted that they were smoking marijuana on the plane ride all the way to the Bahamas.


Paul McCartney also shared some of his memories of when they were filming Help!:

"We showed up a bit stoned, smiled a lot and hoped we'd get through it. We giggled a lot. I remember one time at Cliveden (Lord Astor's place, where the Christine Keeler/Profumo scandal went on); we were filming the Buckingham Palace scene where we were all supposed to have our hands up. It was after lunch, which was fatal because someone might have brought out a glass of wine as well. We were all a bit merry and all had our backs to the camera and the giggles set in. All we had to do was turn around and look amazed, or something. But every time we'd turn round to the camera there were tears streaming down our faces. It's OK to get the giggles anywhere else but in films, because the technicians get pissed off with you. They think, 'They're not very professional.' Then you start thinking, 'This isn't very professional -- but we're having a great laugh.'"

—Paul McCartney Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial. ...

Songs

The Beatles performing "You're Going to Lose That Girl".

The song titles that appear in the film are: Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 771 × 600 pixels Full resolution (797 × 620 pixel, file size: 532 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This image is a screenshot from a copyrighted film, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by the studio which produced the film... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 771 × 600 pixels Full resolution (797 × 620 pixel, file size: 532 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This image is a screenshot from a copyrighted film, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by the studio which produced the film... Youre Going to Lose That Girl is a song by the Beatles from the album Help!, written by John Lennon (and credited to Lennon-McCartney) for the film of the same name. ...

Help! is a song by The Beatles. ... Youre Going to Lose That Girl is a song by the Beatles from the album Help!, written by John Lennon (and credited to Lennon-McCartney) for the film of the same name. ... Youve Got to Hide Your Love Away is a song by the English 1960s rock band The Beatles. ... Ticket to Ride is a song by The Beatles from their 1965 album, Help!. It was recorded 15 February 1965 at Abbey Road Studios and released as a single in 1965. ... The Night Before is a song by The Beatles from the album Help!. It was written by Paul McCartney. ... I Need You is a Beatles song on the album Help! (see 1965 in music). ... Another Girl is a song by the Beatles from the album Help!. It is performed in The Bahamas in the film Help!. The track was recorded on Febuary 15, 1965, with the guitar outro overdubbed Febuary 16. ... Shes a Woman is a song by the Beatles. ... A Hard Days Night is a 1964 hit song written by John Lennon and credited (as were all their songs) to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, performed by English band The Beatles and produced by George Martin. ...

Critical response

The Beatles while filming "Help!" in the Bahamas.

Critical opinion at the time of release was positive, but the film has not achieved a level of acclaim comparable to that for A Hard Day's Night. The absurd comedic style and frenetic pacing were in some ways a forerunner of future British comedy, such as Monty Python's Flying Circus. The film had a direct influence on the American television series The Monkees, which was patterned very closely upon the film. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 578 pixels Full resolution (1000 × 723 pixel, file size: 703 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This image is a screenshot from a copyrighted film, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by the studio which produced the film... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 578 pixels Full resolution (1000 × 723 pixel, file size: 703 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) This image is a screenshot from a copyrighted film, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by the studio which produced the film... This article discusses the series itself. ... The Monkees were a pop-rock quartet created and based in Los Angeles in 1965 for an NBC American television series of the same name. ...


Novelisation

A novelisation entitled The Beatles in Help! was written by Al Hine and published by Dell in 1965. A novelization (or novelisation in British English) is a fictional book that is written based on some other media story form rather than as an original work. ... Dell Publishing was an American publisher of books, magazines, and comic books. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ...


A sequence featuring Frankie Howerd and Wendy Richard was filmed but left out of final editing owing to its length. However, the sequence was left in the film novelization. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Wendy Richard MBE (born Wendy Emerton on 20 July 1943) is a popular English actress best known for playing Miss Brahms in Are You Being Served? from 1972 to 1985 and Pauline Fowler in EastEnders from 1985 to 2006. ...


Release history

Criterion CAV Laserdisc release of Help!
Criterion CAV Laserdisc release of Help!

Like A Hard Day's Night, Help! was originally distributed theatrically by United Artists (UA handled distribution from 1965 to the end of 1980). In January 1981, rights to the movie reverted from UA to producer Walter Shenson, and the movie was withdrawn from circulation. Help! was released several times in different video formats by MPI Home Video and The Criterion Collection. On VHS, a version was released during February 1987 through MPI, along with a reissue of "A Hard Day's Night" the very same day, and was followed by a special-edition release on October 31, 1995. MPI also issued a CLV laserdisc in 1995 and two releases on DVD, the first as a single DVD release on November 12, 1997 and the second as part of "The Beatles DVD Collector's Set" on August 8, 2000. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 604 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (1000 × 992 pixel, file size: 804 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 604 × 599 pixel Image in higher resolution (1000 × 992 pixel, file size: 804 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... The current United Artists logo (a variant was used during the 1980s). ...


LaserDisc releases include a Criterion CAV laserdisc and a Voyager CLV laserdisc in 1987, each of which had three pressings. The first pressings had no UPC code on the gatefold covers while the other two had the UPC code either as a sticker or printed directly on the jacket. While the CLV editions usually sell for around $40, the CAV editions can sell anywhere from $80 to over $100. Most consider the rare Criterion CAV release to be the definitive edition. The film's transfer on the CAV laserdiscs was done correctly so that each still frame is motionless and ultrasharp. The musical numbers, which are presented in stereo, perfectly demonstrate the laserdisc medium's superior, uncompressed audio fidelity capabilities. The supplemental section, which has never been available on any other home video release, contains the following:

  • original theatrical trailer (which includes deleted scenes)
  • silent footage of the film set and of the world premiere
  • still photos, some of which are introduced by text describing the production history of the film
  • posters
  • sheet music
  • record jackets
  • radio ads (on audio during the silent footage)
  • an open interview, originally designed for disc jockeys, that you can utilize to fake out friends and surprise family members by reading the prompts on the screen and pretending to talk to the Beatles.
Inside of the Gatefold Cover of the Help! Criterion Laserdisc.
Inside of the Gatefold Cover of the Help! Criterion Laserdisc.

As of July 2007, all home video versions of "Help!" have been removed from the market because of rights issues involving Apple Corps, now the full rights holders to the film. In June 2007, a version sub-titled in Korean became available on Amazon.com. The aforementioned rights issues have now been resolved as it has been announced by Apple Corps/EMI that a newly restored and remixed 5.1 version of the film will be released as a standard DVD and deluxe edition on October 29, 2007.[1] Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 399 pixel Image in higher resolution (1500 × 749 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 399 pixel Image in higher resolution (1500 × 749 pixel, file size: 1. ...


Trivia

  • Although it is quite obvious that the Beatles were getting chased by an Indian cult, especially since Ringo was supposed to be sacrificed for Kaili, it was never explicitly mentioned. The script sidestepped over saying "India" by saying "Eastern" instead. For example, when George Harrison is speaking to a chef of an Indian restaurant, he asks "Does this Eastern flavor come expensive?" Also, when Ahme gives Prof. Foot the shrinking juice, Prof. Foot tries to read the label but he laments he can't because it is "written in Eastern".
  • Among the film's original working titles were Beatles Phase II and, as suggested by Walter Shenson, Eight Arms to Hold You.
  • The "channel swimmer" who makes appearances during the curling scene and at the end of the film is Beatles road manager Mal Evans.
  • Despite the somewhat cartoonish allusions to Indian culture and religion in the film, the production of the film was arguably the spark that set off George Harrison's fascination with Indian music and religion. It was during the filming of this film, for instance, that he discovered the sitar, which he would later use in "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)".
  • The film was mockingly dedicated to Elias Howe “who, in 1846, invented the sewing machine."
  • When Capitol Records in America issued the single " Ticket to Ride " in the U.S. , the label incorrectly listed the song as from the film's early working title "Eight Arms To Hold You" .
  • The video for the band Travis' "Sing" includes the band seen on a black-and-white television. The sequence imitates the opening of The Beatles' performance in Help, down to the choice of camera angles, and with suction-cup arrows replacing the darts.
  • A sequence with the Beatles practicing acting lessons, which featured actress Wendy Richard (Miss Brahms of Are You Being Served?), was filmed but was cut from the final product.
  • The book that John pulls out of his secret compartment in his room is a copy of his book, A Spaniard in the Works.
  • In the ending of the film, the song played over the credits is The Barber of Seville written by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini.

For other persons named George Harrison, see George Harrison (disambiguation). ... Malcolm Mal Evans (27 May 1935 – 5 January 1976). ... Diagram of some sitar parts. ... Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) is a song by The Beatles which first appeared on the 1965 album Rubber Soul. ... Media:Example. ... Travis is a British band from Glasgow, comprising Fran Healy (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Dougie Payne (bass, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals), Andy Dunlop (lead guitar, banjo, keyboards, backing vocals) and Neil Primrose (drums, percussion). ... Wendy Richard MBE (born Wendy Emerton on 20 July 1943) is a popular English actress best known for playing Miss Brahms in Are You Being Served? from 1972 to 1985 and Pauline Fowler in EastEnders from 1985 to 2006. ... A Spaniard in the Works is a book from 1965 by John Lennon. ... The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia) is an opera buffa in two acts by Gioachino Rossini with a libretto (based on Beaumarchaiss comedy Le Barbier de Séville) by Cesare Sterbini. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... Gioachino Rossini. ...

External links

This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, and video games. ...

Multimedia

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