All this month on The Guitar Train, Quirky T will be looking at The Beatles’ movies. This station stop looks at The Beatles’ second movie, “Help!”. As with all the movies I am looking at this month, they have been analyzed so much so I’m going to just take a quick look at the film. “Help!” was released in 1965 and directed by Richard Lester who also directed The Beatles’ first film, “A Hard Day’s Night”. Since that film had depicted the Fab Four’s chaotic work lives and their personal lives were not going to be depicted, this movie had them as “passive recipients of an outside threat”. Ringo Starr called it “a chase film” which is appropriate especially since he was the one being chased for the sacrificial ring he is unable to remove from his finger. The fact that The Beatles were more passive in this film has been criticized but I still enjoyed the film. In the end, it’s still John, Paul, George, and Ringo. It’s still their witty personalities and their amazing music. I may be a little biased since “Help!” is my favorite Beatles album.
Again like “A Hard Day’s Night”, this is a movie I had last seen decades ago. One scene that I remembered from my first viewing that is still a favorite occurs in the beginning of the film. The band members each enter separate doors of row houses only to reveal once inside that it is one large connected house. What a cool interior it is with a grass floor, snack machine, drink machine, organ, revolving bookcase, and John’s bed in the floor. I could live there.
Another favorite scene is when The Beatles are sledding and skiing while “Ticket to Ride” plays. It has the look of a music video. In fact, in the DVD’s “Special Features”, Richard Lester said MTV proclaimed him as the “Father of MTV” because of scenes such as this one. I love the coats the musicians are wearing as well as George’s top hat. On another fashion note, according to one of the special features, the khakis The Beatles wore in the Salisbury Plain sequence were sold out for months in stores around the world after the movie premiered. It is just another example of their enormous popularity and position as trendsetters.
Guitar Train passengers, what is your favorite scene from “Help!”?
Hop back aboard for the next stop on The Guitar Train’s Beatles’ Movies Month as Quirky T looks at the “Magical Mystery Tour”.