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Beatles Ultimate Experience: Movies - Help!
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HELP! (1965)

(looking ahead to their second feature film)

Q: "What are your plans for movies?"

PAUL: "We've got to do a new one in February. Februar-ar-ary. There aren't... we haven't made any plans for it as yet. We talked to the director."

Q: "No plans?"

PAUL: "No, nothing."

GEORGE: "No title, no script."

RINGO: (jokingly) "No script-- No actors."

(looking ahead to their second film)

GEORGE: "We'll be making another film in February, but I've no idea what it'll be all about. I hope there are no songs in it. It was alright getting songs in the last one because we had an excuse, they worked into the film alright. But I don't like these films where everybody bursts into song for no reason... and you have a full orchestra blasting out from nowhere. I'd prefer making a film without any singing."

(answering questions from the set of the movie)

Q: "This second picture, John, how does it differ from the first one you made?"

JOHN: "Well, it's in color, for a start. And, I don't know, there's alot more happening in this. There's a story, you see. In the last one it was just sort of documentary, but this is a real film, almost."

Q: "Do you have any different problems in this one, George, other than in 'A Hard Day's Night'?"

GEORGE: "A couple of more problems. (laughs) A couple of more, yes. Because, for a start, we had a big idol... and lots of trick things, you see. Whereas we didn't have any trick things in the last film."

PAUL: "Yeah, the business about the idol was that, umm, it was supposed to rise from the water, you see, as a sort of trick..."

JOHN: "And it wouldn't."

PAUL: "...and it wouldn't 'cuz the water was always too rough for it. So we've had a bit of trouble with that."

(regarding the title of the film)

GEORGE: "We had a couple of ideas, but they just didn't click. It's got to be a title that all four of us will click our fingers at, and say, 'This is it!' Like 'A Hard Day's Night,' we knew straight away that was the title we wanted."

PAUL 1965
(regarding the title of the film)

Q: "Why did you all decide to change the title of your new movie to 'Help'?"

PAUL: "I don't know. I just don't think anybody will want to hear a song called, 'Eight Arms To Hold You.' So it was a crummy title I think. It was ok... we were getting a bit desperate for titles, and then Ringo said, 'Eight Arms To Hold You' ...and we all said, 'Great!' But then we suddenly realized a couple of days later that we were all sick of it and didn't like it. We thought it was a bit daft."

(during filming of the movie, 'Help!')

PAUL: "I like doing films for a change of pace, but waiting around while they change cameras and all that gets boring. With a film you've got to wait months before you see how the whole thing turned out. With a concert you get reaction from an audience right away."

RINGO: "What about the rushes? Every day when there's a break in filming you get a chance to see rushes of the scenes they shot the day before."

PAUL: "And that's hilarious because you get to see all the bits of the film where somebody mucked things up by laughing and forgetting their lines."

RINGO: "What about the snow bit in the Alps?"

PAUL: "As long as you wear enough gear you get by in the snow. Just ask John. He sat in enough of the stuff at Saint Moritz."

(on writing songs for the movie, 'Help!')

Q: "When you're writing a song for the picture, do you write it for a particular scene?"

PAUL: "What happens is that we, uhh..."

GEORGE: "We just shove 'em in anywhere." (laughs)

PAUL: "Yeah. We just write the songs first, and then just shove 'em in anywhere, as George said. Especially in the sunset scene at the very end of the picture, where the two lovers-- that's George and Ringo-- are coming towards each other on the beach!"


PAUL: (chuckling) "And they just finally meet... well actually, they don't quite meet. They just run past each other and both dive into the sand."

JOHN: "They both light a cigarette."

PAUL: "Yeah, that's it. The sun goes down, and it's a sort of a big facade of Oriental beauty, you know what I mean."

JOHN: "Facade Harbuckle."

PAUL: "Facade Harbuckle. And then the whole picture just ends up..."

GEORGE: "You're telling them too much about the story..."

PAUL: "I'm sorry. I've..."

GEORGE: "They won't go and see it if you tell 'em all about that."

Read this entire interview from the set of the movie 'Help!'

JOHN 1965
(following the release of the movie, 'Help!')

JOHN: "I enjoyed filming it, you know. I'm sort of satisfied with it, but I'm not smug about it, It'll do... 'cuz we're not capable enough actors to make it any better than that."

(on differences between the American and British versions of the movie, 'Help!')

PAUL: "You get nearly the same film, only we had to... The thing is, for America, we had to cut out the word 'toilet.'"


PAUL: "We had to call it a bathroom for America."

JOHN: "That's true. We actually cut out a few words because they wouldn't take it over here."

(soon after the film's initial release)

Q: "George, which film did you like making most... 'Help' or 'A Hard Day's Night'?"

GEORGE: "Umm, we enjoyed both of them, actually. I think the new one we enjoyed a little bit more, because we knew more about what the film business was about, you see... if that makes sense."

(comparing the experiences of making their first two films)

GEORGE: "It took longer to make 'Help' than 'Hard Day's Night', but the thing is, we all felt more at ease because we knew more about the film business."

JOHN 1970
(remembering the movie, 'Help!')

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

JOHN 1980
(reflecting on the movie, 'Help!')

JOHN: "Well, it was 1965. The movie was out of our control. With 'A Hard Day's Night' we pretty much had alot of input, and it was semirealistic. But with 'Help!,' Dick (Lester) didn't tell us what it was about... though I realize, looking back, how advanced it was. It was a precursor for the 'Batman' 'POW!' 'WOW!' on TV-- that kind of stuff."

JOHN 1980
(memories of 'Help!')

JOHN: "I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I really was crying out for help. It was my fat Elvis period. You see the movie: He -- I -- is very fat, very insecure, and he's completely lost himself. And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was. Now I may be very positive... yes, yes... but I also go through deep depressions where I would like to jump out the window, you know. It becomes easier to deal with as I get older; I don't know whether you learn control or, when you grow up, you calm down a little. The Beatles thing had just gone beyond comprehension. We were smoking marijuana for breakfast. We were well into marijuana and nobody could communicate with us, because we were just all glazed eyes, giggling all the time."

PAUL 1994
(memories of the 'Help' set)

PAUL: "We would occasionally get stoned on the way to the film set. My main memory is of being in hysterics because for all of us, one of the great things about early pot was the sheer hysteria-- the laughs. Things could appear very very funny, hilariously so. And nobody quite knew why we were laughing, and of course this made it even funnier. It was like little kids giggling at the dinner table. I remember one of the scenes, it was after lunch and we'd crept off into the bushes and come back a little bit sort of 'Hi there!' pretending we'd had a glass of wine too many or something. There was one scene where Patrick Cargill, the police inspector, had a gun on us from behind. So we all had our hands up and we were all looking out the window. Then someone would start giggling... it was like all those classic outtakes from Peter Sellers movies, and we were just gone... I don't know how Dick (Lester) ever put up with us but he somehow had to make a movie under those circumstances."