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Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (422 votes)

Released: 2013-06-25

The Beatles – Help! [Blu-ray] by Capitol (Universal)

Movie Details

Richard Lester
Capitol (Universal)
NR (Not Rated)

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Help! appears on Blu-ray in a single-disc package pairing the digitally restored film and 5.1 soundtrack with an hour of extra features, including a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, memories of the cast and crew, an in-depth look at the restoration process, an outtake scene, and original theatrical trailers and radio spots. An introduction by the film's director, Richard Lester, and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese are included in the Blu-ray's booklet.

Directed by Richard Lester, who also directed the band's debut feature film, 1964's A Hard Day's Night, Help! follows The Beatles as they become passive recipients of an outside plot that revolves around Ringo's possession of a sacrificial ring, which he cannot remove from his finger. As a result, he and his bandmates John, Paul and George are chased from London to the Austrian Alps and the Bahamas by religious cult members, a mad scientist and the London police.

In addition to starring The Beatles, Help! boasts a witty script, a great cast of British character actors, and classic Beatles songs 'Help!,' 'You're Going To Lose That Girl,' 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away,' 'Ticket To Ride,' 'I Need You,' 'The Night Before,' and 'Another Girl.'

Help!'s Blu-ray package pairs the digitally restored original film with these extra features: (1.) 'The Beatles in Help!' a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film with Richard Lester, the cast and crew, including exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of The Beatles on-set. (2.) 'A Missing Scene' a film outtake, featuring Wendy Richard. (3.) 'The Restoration of Help!' an in-depth look at the restoration process. (4.) 'Memories of Help!' the cast and crew reminisce. (5.) 1965 Theatrical Trailers two original U.S. trailers and one original Spanish trailer. (6.) 1965 U.S. Radio Spots (hidden in disc menus)

Film Running Time: 96 minutes
Special Features Running Time: 57 minutes
Total Running Time: 2 hours 33 minutes


  • John Lennon
  • Paul McCartney
  • George Harrison
  • Ringo Starr


  • Blu-ray
  • NTSC
  • Widescreen

Editorial Review

After the worldwide success of A Hard Day's Night, the Beatles and director Richard Lester reunited for a follow-up film, Eight Arms to Hold You. Well, that wasn't the final title; a pleading Lennon-McCartney tune provided the catchier handle: Help! A loose semispoof of the globe-trotting James Bond pictures, Help! has always been considered a somewhat disorganized comedown from its predecessor; but it presents “the famous Beatles” even more clearly as the English cousins of the Marx Brothers. The plot has an Eastern religious cult declaring that the new ring on Ringo's finger is the key element in a human sacrifice; they will stop at nothing to obtain it. Meanwhile, a mad scientist (crazed Victor Spinetti, who also appeared in A Hard Day's Night and Magical Mystery Tour) believes that if he has the ring, he could–dare we say it?–rule the world. The songs, including “Ticket to Ride” and “You've Got to Hide Your Love Away,” are filmed with gleeful ingenuity, in locations such as the Bahamas, an Austrian ski resort, and the Salisbury Plain. The relentless nonsense becomes nearly the equivalent of a swinging-'60s Alice in Wonderland: for instance, Paul shrinks to the size of a gum wrapper, John fishes a season ticket out of his soup, George wears a top hat on the ski slopes, the lads sing the “Ode to Joy” to a lion. Oh, and the film is dedicated to Elias Howe, “who in 1846 invented the sewing machine.” Brilliant. –Robert Horton

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