Entertainment » Movies

The Beatles - Help!

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Tuesday Jul 9, 2013
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"Stop worrying... ’Help!’ is on the way!" was the catch phrase for the second Beatles’ movie when it was released in 1965. The classic film has now been beautifully restored and is available on Blu-ray for the first time after having been released in 2007 on DVD from Universal Music Enterprises.

"Help!" marked the follow up to the Fab Four’s debut film, "A Hard Day’s Night," and reunited many of the actors and creative team. Director Richard Lester was once again at the helm, and "helped" to develop this playful script. As opposed to the black and white, fictionalized documentary that "A Hard Day’s Night" represented, "Help!" centered on the young lads as innocent victims of an outside plot revolving around a sacred ring that drummer Ringo Starr has on his finger. Unable to remove the ring once worn, Ringo, along with his famous pals Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison, are chased from the Bahamas to Austria by an Eastern cult that claims ownership of the ring, a mad scientist that sees wealth in obtaining the heirloom, and the police, who hope to protect the young musicians from their psychotic, yet ineffective, pursuers.

At its foundation, however, "Help!" is merely a promotional device for what was at the time, the supergroup’s latest album. Though the thin plot "helps" to think of the film as an actual cinematic experience, the songs are clearly the purpose of its creation, to the extent that the film’s soundtrack gets noticeably louder when the songs begin. The classic songs contained here include the title track, "Ticket To Ride," "You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away," "You’re Going To Lose That Girl," and three lesser known tunes. Each of the seven tracks received the full "music video" treatment from Lester (before the term had even come into our vernacular), causing MTV to later label the director, "the father of the music video."

An hour of Bonus Features is fascinating to the audiophile and film bluff, as it contains extensive interviews with Lester, Apple Corps’ Neil Aspinall, actress Eleanor Bron, and various technicians who worked tirelessly on the restoration of this time capsule of the famous quartet at the height of their stardom.

"Help!"
The Beatles
DVD and Blu-ray formats
Universal Music Enterprises

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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