Movie Reviews - Featured Films » Independent Film Guide - H

Help! Movie Review

lester beatles mckern night

Help! was Great Britain's top moneymaker of 1965, but over the years, there's been some grumbling over the fact that the plot was contrived, that it was in garish color, and that it wasn't A Hard Day's Night. Well, you can only do something for the first time once and, as pop musicals go, the Beatles could have done much worse than Help! How many times have you seen Ferry Cross the Mersey or Having a Wild Weekend or Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter lately? The supporting cast is great in this one and has much more to do than in A Hard Day's Night. Victor Spinetti (Professor Foot) and Roy Kinnear (Algernon) would be hilarious no matter which movie they were in together; Leo McKern (Clang), Eleanor Bron (Ahme), and Warren Mitchell (Abdul) create vivid and memorable characters; and Patrick Cargill is perfection as a snide superintendent. With the exception of Ringo Starr, the most natural comedy talent of the four, it's far more evident this time around that his fellow band mates are really guest stars in their own films. Richard Lester keeps things moving briskly, giving the fans what they want and need, and perhaps looking forward to making How I Won the War, released in April 1967. What might have happened if Lester and the Beatles had taken the major artistic risk of filming Joe Orton's unproduced (but since published) screenplay, Up Against It? The deaths of Orton and the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein leave that fascinating question forever unanswered. AKA: Eight Arms to Hold You.

1965 (G) 90m/C GB John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Leo McKern, Eleanor Bron, Victor Spinetti, Roy Kinnear, John Bluthal, Patrick Cargill, Alfie Bass, Warren Mitchell, Peter Copley, Bruce Lacey; D: Richard Lester; W: Charles Wood, Marc Behm; C: David Watkin; M: The Beatles. VHS, LV, DVD

Hester Street Movie Review [next] [back] Helen's Babies Movie Review

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or