Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Help!: The Film

Help!, the movie, followed closely on the success of A Hard Day's Night. Once again produced by Walter Shenson and directed by Richard Lester, the color film was released in July, 1965.

The film was not as well-received as A Hard Day's Night, with critics saying that the plot seemed contrived. The Beatles themselves did not consider the film to be as well-made, noting that they had a bigger budget and intentionally asked the producers to arbitrarily write in scenes in the Alps and the Bahamas.

The film was broken down into "parts." Part One begins the movie, when an eastern cult is on the verge of sacrificing a young woman to the God Kaili. The sacrifice is stopped when the High Priestess (Eleanor Bron) notices that the woman is not wearing the sacrificial ring. Subsequently, High Priestess Ahme and the Swami (Leo McKern) try to find Ringo, who is wearing the ring. When the Beatles realize what's happening, they enlist the help of a mad scientist (Victor Spinetti) to help remove the ring. Meanwhile, Ahme, now on the Beatles' side, tells Ringo that he has become the new sacrificial victim.

The Intermission consists of John pretending that Ringo is a yo-yo as he bobs Ringo's head up and down. Part Two consists of Ahme's sister being given a scolding by her mother. It's brevity is intended to be a part of the film's comedy.

In Part Three, the Beatles try to find protection from the government and flee to the Austrian Alps, Salisbury Plain, and the Bahamas. The ring eventually falls off Ringo's hand after he is painted red in order to be sacrificed.

The Beatles said the film was reminiscent of the Marx Brothers, and the film is credited with inspiring the zany American sitcom called The Monkees.

The Beatles have stated that they were in a "marijuana haze" during most of the filming for the movie, and Ringo tells an anecedote in The Beatles Anthology, saying how he and Paul ran a long distance after the curling scene in order to smoke a joint. Ringo also stated that the warm-weather scenes shot in the bahamas were deceptive since it was "bloody cold" during their stay.

The film also starred Roy Kinnear and Patrick Cargill.

Help! was released in VHS in 1987 and on DVD in 1997. As with A Hard Day's Night, the British and American sountracks differed (see sitemap below for details).

The film featured the following songs:

You're Going to Lose That Girl
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
Ticket to Ride
I Need You
The Night Before
Another Girl
She's a Woman
A Hard Day's Night
I'm Happy Just to Dance with You
You Can't Do That

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