In addition to their wonderful music, The Beatles provided the world with several great movies. For me, Help! edges out A Hard Day’s Night due to the fact that it has an identifiable plot, is in color, and is, in my opinion, funnier. In Help, Ringo has been sent a ring by a young woman from the “mystic East,” and now he can’t take it off. The young woman who sent the ring to Ringo is about to be sacrificed by a cult to appease the dread Kali when it is discovered that she no longer wears the sacrificial ring. She is spared (as she cannot go to Kali without the ring), but now the cult is after Ringo. “He who wears the ring” must be sacrificed, and so begins a chase across the globe.
The cult travels to the boys’ home in London, which provides us the opportunity to see the Beatles’ home. And what a home it is! Four doors open into one room, each decorated to a specific Beatle’s taste. My favorite is John’s pit bed. Who wouldn’t love to have one of those! Paul has an organ that comes up out of the floor, George’s carpet is actually lawn turf, and Ringo has a vending machine in his area. The cult carries out a variety of valiant efforts to capture Ringo in his home, where they also try to paint him red. According to Ringo, “They have to paint me red before they chop me. It’s a different religion from ours, I think.”
The Beatles make numerous attempts to remove the ring, including visits to a jeweler and a “mad scientist” named Foot. But despite his best efforts, Ringo cannot seem to take the ring off his finger. The boys flee (or should I say ski) to the Alps, and seek the assistance of an ineffectual Scotland Yard officer before finally traveling to the Bahamas in an effort to escape from the cult.
All of this and music, too! The Beatles are never too busy to sing, and Help has a great soundtrack. Featured songs include the title track as well as “Ticket to Ride,” “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” and many others.
Check the WRL catalog for the availability of Help!