Beatles second feature film revisited...
The Beatles' second feature film 'Help!' gets an all singing, all dancing DVD release. The film originally came out in 1965 and was directed by Richard Lester, who directed the band's first feature film ĎA Hard Day's Night'.
There will be 2 editions of the DVD, a standard digipack and a deluxe boxed set that will contain a reproduction of Richard Lester's original annotated script, eight lobby cards and a poster, plus a 60-page book with rarely seen photographs and production notes from the movie. Both the deluxe book and the standard booklet feature an introduction by Richard Lester and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese.
The story revolves around Ringo's possession of a sacrificial ring, which he cannot remove from his finger. As a result, he and his band mates John, Paul and George are chased from London to the Austrian Alps and the Bahamas by religious cult members (complete with dodgy accents and fake tans), a mad scientist and the London police!
In fact Ringo almost steals the show with his deadpan delivery and down in the mouth facial features. There are some star names of the day in the film including the comedians Frankie Howerd and Alfie Bass as well as Wendy Richards providing some female distraction for the Beatles.
Plus of course there are seven wonderful Beatles tunes featured throughout the movie.
The second disc has the original theatrical trailers (including a Spanish one) plus a very interesting interview with surviving cast and crew members who relate their memories of the filming.
For Beatles fans an essential purchase I am sure (I can't comment on the booklet and extras as I only have the DVD's for review) and if you enjoy the 1960's comedies then this is worth a look as well.
The film contains plenty of slapstick and some jokes straight out of pantomime.
Review by Jason Ritchie