the Beatles in Help!



Released 29th July 1965

"The storyline to Help! was written around me and the theme of the ring, and of course, Kaili. I had the central part. I think it helped that I'd been enthusiastic about the first film."


"While we'd really tried to get involved and learn the script for A Hard Day's Night, by the time Help! came along we were taking it as a bit of a joke. I'm not sure anyone ever knew the script, I think we used to learn it on the way to the set."


"Nowadays when people make movies, everybody's got to be insured and you're not supposed to do this, that and the other in case you get injured and hold up the budget of the movie. And yet they took us to Austria, took us up a mountain, gave us our boots (that nobody even laced up), gave us our skis, said, 'Turn over, take one. Action!' - and gave us a push."


"All the best stuff is on the cutting-room floor, with us breaking up and falling about all over the place, lying on the floor, incapable of saying a word."


Help! - the Beatles' second feature film - is a comedy adventure following the exploits of the group as they attempt to escape the clutches of an evil, mysterious cult. Will The Beatles survive being eaten by tigers, being shrunk, gassed, blown up, or kidnapped?

The film was directed by Dick Lester and combines the Beatles' own sense of humour with antics from a leading cast of actors including Leo McKern, Eleanor Bron, Victor Spinetti and Roy Kinnear.

A host of classic tracks are included, such as Ticket To Ride, You're Going To Lose That Girl, and, of course, Help!

Help! has been regarded by many as a parody of contemporary Bond films, complete with power crazy despots, mad inventors, and capers through exotic locations including the Bahamas and the snowy mountains of Austria.

The film has also been credited as being the forerunner to contemporary rock musicals and pop videos.

"“Help” was written at the end of 1964. We were determined not to produce an upmarket, colour version of “A Hard Day’s Night”, which was a fictionalised documentary on Beatles lives. We chose, instead, to do a Pop Art fantasy within which we could play around with the state of Britain in 1965 and Harold Wilson’s white-hot, modern society. Just pre-“Haight-Ashbury”, pre-Vietnam, petrol wars, and the 1968 May riots, there was still a bed in England an exuberant residue of good humour. We had the pill and, as yet, relatively few parking meters. If the film seems innocent, we all can plead guilty – the songs were great and filming them was sheer pleasure."

Richard Lester, August 2007


The Beatles in the snow in a scene from Help!

The Beatles underwater in a scene from Help!

The Beatles filming "Help!"
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John LennonJohn
Paul McCartneyPaul
George HarrisonGeorge
Ringo StarrRingo
Leo McKernClang
Eleanor BronAhme
Victor SpinettiFoot
Roy KinnearAlgernon
Patrick CargillSuperintendent
John BluthalBhuta
Peter CopleyJeweller
Alfie BassDoorman
Warren MitchellAbdul
Bruce LaceyLawnmower
Mal EvansCross Channel swimmer
Dandy NicholsWoman in street 1
Gretchen FranklinWoman in street 2
Richard LesterDirector
Walter ShensonProducer
Marc Behm and Charles WoodScreenplay
Marc BehmStory
John PellattProduction Manager
David WatkinDirector of Photography
John Victor SmithFilm Editor
Raymond SimmArt Director
Robert FreemanColour Consultant and Titles
Ken ThorneMusical Director
Julie HarrisCostume Designer
Cliff RichardsonSpecial Effects
Clive ReedAssistant Director
Jack AtchelorCamera Operator
Paul WilsonCamera Operator
H.L.BirdSound Recordist
Stephen DalbySound Recordist
Rita DavisonContinuity
Freddie WilliamsonMake Up
Betty GlasowHairdresser
Arthur NewmanWardrobe
Bill BlundenSound Editor
Don ChallisSound Editor
Barry VinceMusic Editor
John Lennon and Paul McCartney
and by George Harrison
Songs by
The Beatles Performed by
George MartinProduced by