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Help! More at IMDbPro »

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The Fab Four Crazier Than Ever!

Author: caponylea from France
29 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Help!' made by Richard Lester.

I went to the cinema with my English teacher to watch the movie 'Help!' during the British Screen Festival in Nîmes. We saw this film because we had the opportunity to meet Richard Lester, the film director, who was invited to the Festival. I volunteered to interview him, so we could ask him some questions.

The Beatles act in this movie, which was released in 1965. The story is a comedy, there are funny moments! Even if it is comical, the story is completely nonsense. It is about the Beatles, wanted by an Indian cult because Ringo is wearing their sacrificial ring, and can not take it off. The Beatles are pursued all around the world by the cult, but on top of that by an inspector, two scientists and another person too! The four members have each a different personal trait, for example, Ringo thinks he is always a victim, he thinks people pick on him all the time.

Very funny, the Beatles appear relaxed and the actor's game is good if we consider they are not actors but singers in the first place! Good singers, by the way, the sound track of the movie is very good! This is what I preferred in the film. It could be a good reason to watch this movie.

I recommend it, but wait until it comes out on video! It is a good movie, very funny, but a bit long though, because of the meaninglessness of the storyline.

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A britishly British madcap film !

Author: Grey Dorian from Nîmes
29 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Help!" is a British film directed by Richard Lester and released in 1965. This is a comic musical film starring the Beatles, the famous pop rock band.

Its plot focuses on the Beatles' travel around the world. The story begins when Ringo Starr finds in his letterbox an envelope which contains a strange ring on which there is a huge red gem. But the ring is actually a sacrificial ring with which a madcap sect needs to execute the great sacrifice to the terrible goddess, Kaïli the Bloody. Therefore this sects pursues the Beatles all around the world to pick up the ring that Ringo Starr can't remove from his finger ! Clang, the head of the sect, tries to do it in many different ways but always fails. The Beatles are helped by an FBI agent but also pursued by a duo of mad scientists.

First of all, the very first comment I can make is that the soundtrack of the film is very good and composed of pretty lively songs - famous songs! - such as "Help". This is really interesting because of its role : the different songs performed by the Fab Four separate the different parts of the film, such as chapters have a title in a book. It gives the film a certain rhythm. Then, even if the plot has kind of chapters, it is definitely not what makes "Help!" a good film. It is nonsense and madcap and it could be just an excuse for the Beatles to travel around the world, from the United Kingdom to the Alps including some countries like India ! Furthermore, the British sense of humor is another element of this good film. I really like this typical 60's film. It is meaningless, that is mostly why it is pleasant ! Finally, the Fab Four are definitely genuine and natural !

So... watch "Help!". It's well worth seeing ! It deserves 8 stars out of 10 !

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The Story speak about a sect who want to sacrifice someone, but to do that, they need a ring which is on Ringo Starr's finger.

Author: lemdrducoin from France
29 April 2015

"Help !' released in 1965 and directed by Richard Lester, is the second movie of the Beatles. This movie was so fun ! I laughed from A to Z, The Beatles are good actors and they are very funny. There are many jokes in this film and I think The Beatles loved acting in this film. The soundtrack of this movie is excellent, The Beatles are the best rock band ever. But, the soundtrack doesn't correspond to the movie, some songs are about love but the film is funny, not romantic. Ringo Starr is the main character, all the movie focuses on him. Don't miss it ! This is unforgettable ! The script is simple but effective. 2 March 2015 , Nîmes

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You don't need help to understand

Author: eve-63311 from France
29 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Please leave your brain at home before you go to the movies if you're planning to watch "Help!". The plot, if it's worth saying there's one, is downright nonsense. It looks like the scriptwriter wrote random actions and places on a few pieces of paper and wrote the whole story according to the order he picked them out. Thereby, you'll enjoy watching the Beatles being chased from England to the Bahamas, passing by the Alps, by the fanatic members of a mysterious and ridiculous sect, trying to rob Ringo's sacrificial ring. And yet, if until here the storyline doesn't seem to overwhelm logic, the end helps. Because even though logic was somehow maintained through the Fab Four's adventures, even if it swayed a lot, it collapses with the final scene, when every single character, probably guided by a drunk scriptwriter, meets at the beach and tries to obtain what one wants by stabbing whoever one sees. And whatever you may think after you read this, I liked it! Because it was really relaxing to see it. I had a good laugh, thanks to its fantastic British sense of humor. I see it as a feel-good movie.

About the film itself, I'd say the image looks quite modern because its very colorful, that's another good thing, and the music is, of course, the work of talented artists, though I don't like the Beatles style of music (please don't murder me).

As a conclusion, on a scale of 0 to 10, I give this movie a seven, because it's funny and relaxing, but it can't be considered a masterpiece. Go watch it with friends or with your family, have fun! But please don't watch it on a date, it'll be awkward.

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Great Beatles Film

Author: AttyTude0 from Boise, Idaho
15 November 2014

I love this film. Maybe because I'm a Beatles fiend. Maybe because I was a kid in the 60s and this brings so many memories back. Maybe because I actually "get" the humor. Whatever. And I suppose these days it would be panned by the Political Corrgestapo for reasons I needn't mention. I don't care. I still love it.

By the way, I took a look at some of the films praised to high heaven by the haters of this one. Good grief. And they think themselves superior to us, Help! lovers. They are the ones who need help.

Oops. My review contains insufficient lines. All right then. I appreciate difference of opinions. Having said that, I find that some reviewers here are overbearing, pompous and insufferably pedantic.

There. Better?

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Help vs The Goons

Author: stevequaltrough from United Kingdom
5 August 2014

A Hard Day's Night and Yellow Submarine often appear in lists of the best rock films of all time, Help less so despite it including 3 of John Lennon's best songs. This may be because the plot resembles not Monty Python but a Goon Show episode. This breakthrough show of the 50s and very early 60s often featured a nemesis called the Red Bladder played by Ray Ellington as well as other Indian characters voiced famously by Peter Sellers in Spike Milligan's surreal story lines in which Milligan also acted. They were often set in far flung corners of the British Empire and mercilessly lampooned the British, It was a fore runner of Monty Python and its spin off Ripping Yarns. Readers may be interested in the Goon Show episode called the Last British Banana Tree where our "heros" are sent to protect the last bananas. Not only do the bananas get blown up, so do the Goons to the catchphrase "You've deaded me". Richard Lester was heavily involved with this comedy partnership and it is my contention he has referred to this "default position" when organising Beatles film two. The Goons had 20 minutes comedy interrupted by two musical interludes per half hour. Then it stopped. Help! goes on its manic way for an entire feature pausing only to have musical interludes featuring the Beatles. But the problem is this. When we tuned into the Goons we expected the show to be dominated by comedy, when I went to the Gaumont, Liverpool in 1965 we expected to hear Beatles music and so came out of the cinema theatre feeling unsettled and shortchanged. Maybe this intention to slightly unsettle was deliberate on Lester's part. It seemed asif it could be that in Britain that the writing was on the wall for the Beatles as Merseybeat and the Cavern were on the wane in the popularity stakesat this point in time. Could this be that this is why there is no victorious ending to the film. It ends with a dust up on a beach (or should that be sand up)to the title song. The Beatles survive but that is about it. As Lester has just played "Help" as the film descends into Goon like fiasco, he can hardly repeat the same song for the end credits so he resorts to a shot of the ring with the Beatles imitating the Goons (I kid you not) before THE END title shows. .We could have had another Lennon and McCartney song or John singing "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" that is o the flip side of the UK "Help" album. But instead we have something not Beatles related.We get a snatch of classical music. At no time do we see anyone enjoying the Beatles music. Leo McKearn says it is "shocking" and throws darts at a cinema screen with the Beatles tearing through the opening song "Help!". This is despite the music being fabulous. Later the Beatles perform in a recording studio or in a series of remote locations such as Salisbury Plain, icy Scandanavia or on a deserted Caribbean beach. Never to an audience.The Beatles were still a performing band at this stage and only a short while later played Shea Stadium so why not play out with a shot of the Beatles in concert? Granting that the public would have been in danger from the Eastern Cult (according to the plot line)before this we could at least have had a "live" performance as a climax as in Hard Day's Night, Let It Be or even Magical Mystery Tour, even if it was with the titles superimposed across it. Maybe the symbolism of the end with its camera perspective being viewed through the faces of the red ring-jewel is to hint to us that we have been watching the Beatles through "a prism". Rather than the intimacy of "A Hard Day's Night" we have been kept at a distance from the Fab Four. The first feature felt as if we were "with the Beatles". This keeps us at an arm's length from them. Nevertheless what we are left with is a fun,melodic feature, its colourful sheen and frantic plot lines stopping us from realising that. Beatles music apart, there is nothing of much substance going on here. Best viewed by Beatles fans as "the one in colour". It has some great innovations that would be used in music videos such as "Ticket to ride etc" and as a Beatles fan I wouldn't be without it,but... Magical Mystery Tour (or should it be "a Day Out in the Life of the Beatles") is more authentically Beatles and has about the same ratio of music in a much shorter film. It continues the great video experiment pioneered by Lester.

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Help! (1965) ***

Author: JoeKarlosi from U.S.A.
29 April 2014

HELP! was the second Beatles movie, and it takes on a completely different direction from their first Rock Classic, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (1964). This time we have John, Paul, George and Ringo in a bizarre and colorful comedic romp as hapless victims, in danger at every turn, when a murderous eastern cult thirsts for their blood. Or that is to say more specifically, for Ringo's blood ... as he wears a sacred ring that he once received from an Eastern fan, and now the tribe of fanatics need to reclaim it for a sacrifice. The problem is, Ringo cannot get the ring off his finger and becomes the prime target!

The Beatles never cared for HELP!, and John Lennon once dismissed the film as "crap", saying that the filmmakers forgot who The Beatles were, and that they were like guest stars in their own movie. Be that as it may, and with all due respect to Lennon, this is still a rollicking good time for those willing to get outrageous and not look for deep meaning or expect everything to make much sense. The pursuit takes The Beatles from England to the Swiss Alps and to The Bahamas -- all around the globe, in a zany hodgepodge best describe as a cross between James Bond and the Adam West BATMAN TV show. Leo McKern is a comic delight as the frustrated fat high priest Klang, who keeps getting foiled by our boys. Victor Spinetti is a pure treat as a clueless mad scientist ("he's out to rule the word ... if he can get a government grant...") who also becomes intrigued in securing Ringo's mysterious ring. Naturally along the way we get to hear several splendid classic Beatles songs. In addition to the title hit, "Help!", there are: "Ticket To Ride", "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "The Night Before", "Another Girl", "I Need You", and "You're Gonna Lose That Girl".

*** out of ****

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The Beatles' Help! is uneven as a comedy but does provide much fine imagery on the music performance side

Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, LA
17 February 2014

Since I've seen all the other Beatles movies, I decided to check out Help! from my local library last week. It's quite uneven with the hit-and-miss gags both visual and verbal and the Fab Four don't make it easier to understand them when they seem to just say things that make no sense most of the time. Still, much of the supporting cast seem to have some fun with their roles and the way director Richard Lester films many of The Beatles' song performances-perhaps bringing birth of the music video to fruition with his style-does provide some entertainment that make this tolerable to say the least. Perhaps Ringo comes off best but then he's the central character whose ring is the source of the chases he and his fellow band members go through. In summary, Help! is a nice time capsule of how silly the '60s seemed to be before certain social events made the decade perhaps the most turbulent of the 20th century.

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Ring for Ringo with love and peace!

Author: Prismark10 from United Kingdom
1 August 2013

The Beatles first film led to an Oscar nomination for best screenplay and was wildly successful just like their songs.

So they quickly followed it up with a bigger budget and some foreign location shooting. Its apparently inspired by the Marx Brothers film, Duck Soup and the James Bond adventures with lashings of the Goon Show and contains some things that might later inspire the Month Python team a few years later.

Again we have more Beatles songs, zany humour, a plot involving an Eastern cult wanting to take a sacrificial ring from Ringo's finger. Its all very knockabout and interestingly to note that even then The Beatles displayed an interest in Eastern culture and philosophy.

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Better than anything Elvis ever did

Author: johnahabig from United States
9 August 2012

Often slighted as a weaker follow up to A Hard Day's Night but aside from the lighter use of song I would say it matches it in every way. The plot though more convoluted is also more intriguing to follow without diverting from the one line humor it's predecessor relied more on. This is more scenic more physical and slapstick and makes bolder statements on culture. And Ringo and John my favorites do the most comic pranks kudos to two underrated comics. Mad scientists, crazy cult make great comic adversaries and leads to a lightly tense argument about what Ringo does with his finger. Need to kill space end of act one intermission end of intermission act two "just like your sister coming home at all hours and all colors"

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