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HELP! (1965)

HELP!. Feature film. (1965, 90 mins) IMDB

...In the beginning there was The Beatles...


ELP! was the Beatles's second movie--a follow up to their popular and acclaimed first film A HARD DAY'S NIGHT. I liked them both. I like the music. I like the irreverent humour.

The film is as old as I am and yet it stands up. This is not a dippy movie with pop stars.

The best moments are the music. The four of them with their instruments as they sing and play. It's a sound that won't go away. HELP, I Need You, Ticket to Ride, You're Going To Lose That Girl and others. It's music videos before they existed except music videos are created to sell a band and its music, this movie was more about the people and corporations around them making money and for their fans. They didn't need any more publicity.

It's too bad they didn't make more films. They were required to make a third and ended up with an animation film called YELLOW SUBMARINE with actors mimicking their voices. They didn't want to do a third film.

Should I mention there is a plot, a narrative as such, in this film? Yes. Given the reason for making the film, it's not a terrible narrative.

There's an Indian religious sect who sacrifice humans for their god except the person can't be killed if they aren't wearing a special ring--a ring Ringo Starr is wearing back in London. This group of Indians travel to the UK to recover the ring so they can carry out their sacrifice. They remind me of the Thuggees from GUNGHA DIN and INDIANA JONES: THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.

They try and try to steal the ring back, but can't, but the clock has clicked to a new day. A new day means a new person to sacrifice and that person is Ringo because he's wearing the ring. Of course there's the little problem. The ring won't come off.

That Ringo is chased and covered in red paint but is unscathed is not a surprise. That the leader of the sect, during the final moments of the film, during a sacrifice scene, ends up with the ring instead of Ringo is story telling.

You could do worse when studying this film for film composition and editing. And lighting.

Did you see the villain with the pink costume and the pink gun to match? Check it out.

Posted 2009/01/27 at 19h57ET in Movie Commentary.


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