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Help! (1965)

Fresh from the success of A Hard Day’s Night, The Beatles had the world at their feet and pitched to follow in the globetrotting wake of fellow Cool Britannia icon James Bond.

This time they are pursued by an Eastern mystic sect because Ringo has a sacred ring stuck on his finger.

The plot opens as the High Priest Clang (Leo McKern) is about to sacrifice a human victim to the goddess Kali, but the ceremony is stopped when they realise the sacrifice is not wearing the sacred ring.

The rest of the film is occupied by Clang’s attempt to get the ring from Ringo, or else sacrifice him while he’s wearing it.

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There follows a succession of bizarre chases, including a sequence in the Swiss Alps which is where the movie’s musical and visual highpoint comes with Ticket To Ride accompanying their wacky ski lesson.

The band did all their own stunts for the segment, which is self-evident when the hapless Ringo falls on his arse.

The fab four eventually end up on a beach in the Bahamas where there is a final battle during which the ring simply drops off Ringo’s finger.

The Beatles‘ second feature film added colour, location photography and millions of dollars to the budget – and it shows. The script was written by Charles Wood, who specialised in caricaturing stock conventions.

Songs this time around include Another Girl, I Need You, The Night Before, Ticket To Ride, You’re Going To Lose That Girl, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away and the title track.

John
John Lennon
Paul

Paul McCartney
George

George Harrison
Ringo

Ringo Starr
Clang

Leo McKern
Ahme

Eleanor Bron
Prof Foot

Victor Spinetti
Algernon

Roy Kinnear
Bhuta

John Bluthal
Superintendent

Patrick Cargill
Doorman

Alfie Bass
Abdul

Warren Mitchell
Jeweller

Peter Copley
High Priestess

Deborah DeLacey
Neighbour

Dandy Nichols

Director
Richard Lester