Sunday 16 June 2013


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“Absurd, delightful and exuberantly messy, Help! is a pure pleasure to watch.”
The New York Times

The Beatles’ second feature film, 1965’s Help!, is on the way on Blu-ray.  On June 24 (June 25 in North America), Help! makes its eagerly awaited Blu-ray debut in a single-disc package pairing the digitally restored film and 5.1 soundtrack with an hour of extra features, including a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, memories of the cast and crew, an in-depth look at the restoration process, an outtake scene, and original theatrical trailers and radio spots. An introduction by the film’s director, Richard Lester, and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese are included in the Blu-ray’s booklet.

Help!’s Blu-ray edition follows the 2012 release of The Beatles’ digitally restored Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour feature films on Blu-ray, DVD and iTunes with extensive extras.  Help!’s restoration for its 2007 DVD debut wowed viewers, earning five-times platinum sales in the U.S. and praise from a broad range of top media outlets around the world, including USA Today heralding the DVD as “a grand re-release,” The Guardian’s appreciation of the film’s director, Richard Lester, saying “Lester matches The Beatles’ ‘star’ power with smart, colourful visuals and casual surrealism,” The Los Angeles Times’ restoration rave:  “With dynamic compression that was standard in the 1960s lifted for the digital age, the full range of the group’s musicality comes through – it’s like several coats of dust have been cleaned off an old master’s painting,” and four-star reviews from Rolling Stone and MOJO with the latter saying, “They really don't make them like this anymore.”

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Directed by Richard Lester, who also directed the band’s debut feature film, 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night, Help! follows The Beatles as they become passive recipients of an outside plot that revolves around Ringo's possession of a sacrificial ring, which he cannot remove from his finger. As a result, he and his bandmates John, Paul and George are chased from London to the Austrian Alps and the Bahamas by religious cult members, a mad scientist and the London police.

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In addition to starring The Beatles, Help! boasts a witty script, a great cast of British character actors, and classic Beatles songs “Help!,” “You're Going To Lose That Girl,” “You've Got To Hide Your Love Away,” “Ticket To Ride,” “I Need You,” “The Night Before,” and “Another Girl.”

 © Apple Corps Ltd
 Help!’s Blu-ray package pairs the digitally restored original film with these extra features:   
• “The Beatles in Help!” – a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film with Richard Lester, the cast and crew, including exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of The Beatles on-set.
• “A Missing Scene” – a film outtake, featuring Wendy Richard
• “The Restoration of Help!” – an in-depth look at the restoration process
• “Memories of Help!” – the cast and crew reminisce
• 1965 Theatrical Trailers – two original U.S. trailers and one original Spanish trailer
• 1965 U.S. Radio Spots (hidden in disc menus)

To view the trailer follow this link:

The Beatles:
John:  John Lennon
Paul:  Paul McCartney
George:  George Harrison
Ringo:  Ringo Starr
Clang:  Leo McKern
Ahme:  Eleanor Bron
Foot:  Victor Spinetti
Algernon:  Roy Kinnear
Superintendent:  Patrick Cargill
Bhuta:  John Bluthal
Jeweller:  Peter Copley
Doorman:  Alfie Bass
Abdul:  Warren Mitchell
Lawnmower:  Bruce Lacey
Cross channel swimmer:  Mal Evans
Women in street:  Dandy Nichols and Gretchen Franklin

Director:  Richard Lester
Producer:  Walter Shenson
Screenplay:  Marc Behm and Charles Wood
Story by:  Marc Behm
Director of Photography:  David Watkin
Production Manager:  John Pellatt
Art Director:  Raymond Simm
Colour Consultant and Titles:  Robert Freeman
Costume Designer:  Julie Harris
Musical Director:  Ken Thorne
Songs composed by:  John Lennon and Paul McCartney and by George Harrison
Songs performed by:  The Beatles
Songs produced by:  George Martin

* * *

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‘Help!’ follows in the great tradition of classic comedy chase movies.

In this instance, John, Paul, George and Ringo, find themselves being pursued across the world by not one but two groups of fanatics with separate agendas.

Ringo possesses a ring with a large red stone set in the middle, sent to him by a fan. Unknown to him this artefact is the sacred sacrificial ring of Goddess Kaili: the deity of an Asian religious cult led by Swami Clang (Leo McKern).

The younger sister of High Priestess Ahme (Eleanor Bron) has been selected by Kaili’s thuggish followers as a human sacrifice. However, panic breaks out when, as she is about to be dispatched by the ceremonial-sword wielding fanatic, Swami Clang, he realises that she is not wearing this religious bauble.

The human sacrifice is promptly placed on hold.  Clang, Ahme and a bunch of bumbling henchmen organised by Blutha (John Bluthal), set about tracking down the wearer with the aim of retrieving the ring by covering Ringo in bright red paint and sacrificing him in the process.
Even before he realises he is the object of these fanatics attention, Ringo finds that he can’t slip it off his finger. It’s stuck!

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Clang, the lovely Ahme is a secret Beatles fan with a shine for Paul.               

These cult followers of Kaili frantically pursue The Beatles first, through London, then up the snow-covered Austrian Alps, followed by Buckingham Palace across Salisbury Plain and finally along the sandy beaches of the Bahamas.

Amidst this turmoil, two scientists named Foot (Victor Spinetti) and Algernon (Roy Kinnear) have become involved, being called in by the Government to try and remove the ring from Ringo’s finger. Algernon is a harmless fool, however, Foot is a megalomaniac and sees the ring as a means to “rule the world!” and is prepared to go to extremes to get his hands on the ring.  Following up the rear is dapper Scotland Yard Police Superintendent (Patrick Cargill),

Fortunately, all attempts to remove this religious artefact from Ringo’s hand are thwarted at every turn often by John, Paul and George. This wild chase eventually culminates on a beach in the Bahamas when the ring suddenly falls off Ringo’s finger and those in pursuit are suddenly afraid to pick it up in case they themselves become splattered with red paint and selected as the sacrificial victim!

 © Apple Corps Ltd


• ‘Help!’
• ‘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’

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