101 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2007
OK, I'm sure there will be 100's of reviews of the film itself, so I'll just skip to the tech review of the disc:
Full marks to the restoration team; as this is the best you're ever going to see this colourful 1965 classic. Nearly every scratch and dirt speck is gone and the colours look fantastic on DVD.
A full 5.1 DTS remix (not much help if you still only have Dolby Digital). Very similar to the Anthology/Love mixes of their mid 60's stuff; not many flashy rear effects (just a bit of reverb to fill it out) but for the modernists - the drums are in the centre and the new mix is a beefy one.
A Missing Scene: Just to save you the same disappointment I had - THIS SCENE IS STILL MISSING! However, we do get Wendy Richard, Richard Lester and other insiders; giving an in-depth rundown on the lost SAM AHAB scene.
The Beatles in Help!: A great documentary featuring period interviews of the Beatles with lots of behind the scenes footage interlaced with some snippets of outtakes and 8mm home movies. Very informative. Richard Lester details some of the problems of filming in the mists of Beatlemania (there's even footage of mass crowds in the Swiss Alps!). Neil Aspinell also appears; confirming the well worn stories the Beatles recreational drug use on set.
The Restoration of Help! - An in-depth look at the restoration process.
Memories of Help! - More focused on the crews experiences making the film than the 30-minute documentary. Contains behind the scenes and home movie footage.
Plus two 2 US trailers, a spanish one (with no dubbed Beatles - sadly) and hidden Radio promos.
174 of 201 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2007
Everyone knows the film and loves it, that's why we're here checking it out on this page. But what about this DVD package? If you look at the price, you have to question is it really worth it.
When I first read about the Deluxe Edition, I thought the price would be around $50 like most other Deluxe Edition DVDs out there. At $95, this is way too much for what they're offering. Yes, you get all this:
- a reproduction of Richard Lester s original annotated script
- 8 lobby cards
- 60-page book with rarely seen photographs and production notes from the movie
... but unless they are signed by at least one Beatle, I wouldn't pay that much. Yes, Richard Lester's annotated script is great, but wait awhile and you'll probably find a reproduction online sometime. The lobby cards and poster are great, but those are not the main reasons for the price inflation. The 60 page book would seem to be the main reason for the price hike, but look at other Beatles books out there. The paperback version of The Beatles Anthology has 368 pages, weighs 2.2 pounds, and has over 1,300 photographs. The price? LESS THAN A THIRD of what this Deluxe Edition of Help is going for.
Yes, all these extras are nice, but it's not worth the price, and I'm a huge Beatles nut who buys everything they make. At this moment, I'm going to buy the regular edition which has been restored with great picture and a 5.1 soundtrack. Plus, the second disk has great extras (could be better if they had Paul or Ringo commenting) that will suffice. Especially for the price.
Drop the price on this Deluxe Edition, guys. If you do that, people will buy.
86 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2001
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This was the first Beatles film I saw. From the first minutes of the film I was hooked! I became an instant Beatle fan.
A religious cult is after Ringo because he is in possession of thier sacrificial ring. There are several failed attempts to obtain the ring: stealing it at night as he sleeps, grabbing it when he posts a letter, the elevator scene, getting the ring at a restaurant and even sawing around his drum set so he will fall through to the basement as the Beatles record "You're Gonna Lose That Girl". Despite these failures, Clang (Leo McKern), the cult leader, is more determined than ever to get the ring from Ringo!
Ahme (wonderfully played by Eleanor Braun), a priestess of the cult is secretly working with the Beatles to keep them out of harms way.
Added to the mix are two bumbling scientists Professor Foot and Algernon (Victor Spinetti and Roy Kinnear respectively), and a Scotland Yard superintendent played by Patrick Cargill. To Cargill everything is "famous" (the famous Ringo, famous Beatles, famous plan).
John, Paul, George and Ringo are all charming as ever. The settings run from England, to the ski slopes of Austria to the Bahamas.
There are so many funny things in this movie that you can't just watch it one time and catch them all.
The soundtrack to this movie is awesome: "Help!", "The Night Before", "I Need You", "Another Girl", "You're Gonna Lose That Girl", "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "She's A Woman" and "Ticket To Ride".
It's such a shame that MPI is no longer producing this movie. I truly hope another distributor will be able to gain the rights so it will once again be available.
It is well worth the trouble of hunting a copy of this movie down because everything about it is timeless.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
My three daughters (ages 11, 7, and 5) are suddenly in the full thrall of Beatlemania, something I thought I'd gotten over 20 years ago. Lo and behold, they totally re-infected me at age 44! We can't seem to get "1", "Revolver", "Abbey Road" and "Rubber Soul" out of rotation on our CD player. My kids and I also watch the DVDs of "Yellow Submarine" and "Magical Mystery Tour" (which shows how truly hard core we are) every few days.
Anyway, I went in search of DVDs of "Hard Day's Night" and "Help" and found out THEY ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. It seems they have been TAKEN OFF THE MARKET just as the Fabs were hitting Number 1 again across the land! Same goes for VHS tapes and DVDs of the "Beatles Anthology" and "Compleat Beatles" documentaries, all listed as "out of print and no longer available."
HELLO-- Who's reponsible for this FIASCO? Someone ought to be fired immediately for this, since there's no telling how much money is being lost minute-by-minute. The Beatles are once again the HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD, and their best movie work is suddenly UNAVAILABLE? The stupidity of this marketing move is almost inconceivable.
Anyway, I was lucky enough to find a tired, worn-out VHS tape of "Help" on the bottom shelf of the local video store and brought it home. The kids, of course, FLIPPED and I found myself once again amazed at what truly natural, charismatic performers the Fabs were.
Although rock critics have always liked "Hard Day's Night" more, I must admit "Help" has always been my favorite Beatles movie. Viewing it again after 20-odd years, I'm amazed at its innocent charm and how well some of the sight gags hold up. It's a sheer pleasure to watch all the proto-music videos in it, particularly the fabulous "Ticket To Ride" sequence (my youngest still screams "The SKI SONG! YIPPEEE!" whenever the opening chords come over the stereo). The Mad Scientist character reminded my girls of "The Brain." Some of the casually tossed-off lines have amazing staying power. "A feindish thingee!" "You've got a plan, haven't you inspector?" "Not a bit like Cagney!" "Ah, you see? British! If I had a Luger..." "So these are the famous Beatles / So this is the famous Scotland Yard" "Lovely boys! Just the same as they was before they was" etc.
The spirit of both "Help" and "Hard Day's Night" is definitely "cheeky," as opposed to the "snotty" and cynical attitude adopted by today's teen-oriented music stars (don't believe me? Compare the excruciating "Jose and the Pussycats" to any Beatles flick and tell me we haven't gone BACKWARDS in 30-odd years in terms of music, talent and attitude). That's the only bad part of watching or listening to the Beatles in this day and age: It reminds you that pop/rock music is long into its decadent phase, with the themes so daringly explored by the Beatles and others so long ago simply being hashed, rehashed, sampled, computerized, and spat out by today's soulless performers.
Anyway, I would happily buy a "Help" and "Hard Day's Night" DVD IF THEY WERE AVAILABLE! How long is this agony to last?
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
First of all two things:
1. What is it with Amazon publishing reviews that do not belong to the item in the page? I mean, I can understand they might be similar items (DVD or VHS version) but if I am looking for the deluxe edition none of the reviews have any info about it.
2. I have been a big fan of the Beatles since I was a kid and I listened to my dad's albums and watched VHS copies of the movies with him. I just thought I'd clarify that before explaining why I gave 2 stars to this item.
When originally released I really wanted to get this edition, unfortunately the list price of over a hundred dollars was just too much for me, so I had to go and buy the regular `Help' DVD edition. Last week this was being sold at the Gold Box deal of the day for $29, needless to say I didn't think twice and got it. As the title of my review says, what really made me happy about getting this is the price I paid, as the edition does not live up to the expectations and to me, it is simply not worth the hundred dollars this costs on regular price.
With so many reviews from the DVD edition already here I have little to add, the remastered version looks great (better than the first DVD edition released), sound is incredible (I really regret a remastered soundtrack was not released as they did with the "Yellow submarine songtrack") and the extras are excellent, lots of interviews and data directly from the people involved in making this classic film. Many people consider this movie to be not as good as "A hard day's night" but I beg to differ, the classic British humor and charisma of the fab four make this film an enjoyable experience. When I got it I had my wife watch it for her first time and she loved it, the movie and the songs are timeless.
The Deluxe Edition
The Deluxe edition even though it contains the same two discs from the regular DVD edition has a different presentation for them.
The box opens from one side (as shown in the picture of the product) and the box inside contains the book with pictures from the movie, and a copy (literally a copy) of the script of the film with hand written notations by Richard Lester.
The cover on the book has the two discs inside attached to the inside of the front cover, the little circle plastics holding it are cheaply glued and (at least with my copy) they easily detach, so it is definitely not a good place to keep the discs as if they fall they can end up stained with glue or scratched by being rubbed with one another. The book has indeed pictures from the film in a nice quality paper, some pictures from some deleted scenes but unfortunately is too short, in other words, content may not be as complete as you would expect. There is an envelope (with pictures printed in it) attached to the book that contains the folded poster of the movie, it is supposed to be a replica of the original poster so this is something collectors will want to frame. In the inside of the back cover there is another place where the 8 lobby cards are attached, these are great replicas and they have that look of old (B&W pictures hand painted to promoted the film)
The copy of the script is printed in a lesser quality paper, they are color copies so even though is white paper printed with black ink you will see hand written notes with blue/red pen from the director. It is interesting to read those as you will have a look at how it was scripted and what was changed. The way it looks in the picture is the way you get it, no hard cover but a carton one.
Bottom-line, had I paid over a hundred dollars for this I would have been very mad. Extras in the so called "Deluxe" edition are not deluxe for me, for what you actually get I truly believe this item is seriously overpriced and a rip-off to Beatle fans willing to pay the regular price for it. If you are getting this, you better wait until Amazon drops the price in the future. I paid $29 dollars for it and I don't think of it as a nice deal, that's what this should have cost in the first place. A better case for the DVDs and other extras may have been what this edition needed to be truly called Deluxe.
Hope this information helps whoever thinking of buying this item.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2006
It's symptomatic of middle-age, I suppose, to reflect warmly on "the good old days", and even though I never wanted to fall into that syndrome, seeing "Help" has done exactly that for me. I was a Freshman in college when the movie was released, and so it was a movie for the millions of Boomers like me, in that bizarre, wonderful time that was the mid-1960's in America.
Others have already written far more insightfully and fully than I intend to here. Simply -- if you like the Beatles, their witty, irreverent, and intellectual sense of humor, their music, and the whole 60's "British Invasion" period, you will surely enjoy this comedy. It was one last cheerful, happy, ridiculous romp for we teenagers of the 60's before the somber, discouraging misery of Vietnam settled in for a long, long time. It could be argued that, in a sense, my generation lost its sense of humor after "Help".... If a movie like "Help" were released today it would fall flat and be ridiculed, unless it were positioned as some kind of Austin Powers spinoff and "spoof" (how sick I've become of that word) of the "Hippie" period. Would this happen because as a people we never have regained that genuinely mirthful, joyous sense of humor that we revelled in in other Richard Lester movies, like "The Three Musketeers", "A Hard Day's Night", and Franco Zefferelli's "The Taming of the Shrew"? You make your own call... my generation lived it.
Isn't it a pity that you can't buy "Help" new anymore? Isn't it interesting that the company that produced "Help" on DVD is MPI -- which is the same company that, despite overpowering demand, somehow cannot find it possible to release an even more popular, Academy Award-winning movie from the mid-Sixties -- "Becket"? Isn't it a pity that you can't buy both "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help" as a set? Isn't it a pity that no one makes movies like "Help" anymore?
*********** November 2007 ************* Much to my astonishment, somehow Capitol bought or won the rights to this movie away from MPI, and it's been released on two DVD editions. I bought one and enjoyed it quite a lot. I know the purists are going to be unhappy about the full-screen attributes versus the widescreen ones, etc., but the images are crisp, clear, and have rich color saturation. The sound is quite good also, and you can listen to the movie in 5.1 if you want to. Enjoy!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Beatles in HELP is over 40 years old..and it is as fresh as it was 40 years ago.
This two disk DVD version is a classic film, restored to its glory that modern day marvels can do to film. This pre-MTV film stands as a great blend of music and comedy. The Beatles music in the film may seem new to the young ones. Nevertheless, I would not be surprised if the HELP soundtrack goes back up the top 40 with the DVD release
Richard Lester, who was director of the 1973/74 The Complete Musketeers (The Three Musketeers / The Four Musketeers), moved the Beatles in this fast paced romp, like the Marx Brothers did 40 years before them. Lester did what was later done for TV with the MONKEES. MTV called Lester "The Father of MTV" due to the movie HELP...which he replied that he wanted a blood test
The film looked like nonsense, but it has a thin plot about Ringo and a special ring. Leo (Rumpole of the Bailey, The Prisoner) McKern and Roy (Three Musketeers) Kinear ham it for the camera in this romp. This is a simple enjoyable film is one of these that family can watch
The two disk set also has a 16 page booklet with mostly pictures and very little text (if you are a film buff, I suggest you buy the deluxe HELP set with Richard Lester's annotated script book) . The booklet reminds me of a movie book, that was sold in the theaters when a large film was release..I have a few from Ben Hur and the Ten Commandments...BOY I AM DATING MYSELF NOW!
What is missing for me is Lester or the remaining Beatles (Paul & Ringo) doing an audio commentary over the film. The second disk has a few documentaries, but no comments from neither Paul nor Ringo..and that is a shame!
Now, what you all want to know is, IS IT WORTH IT? YES, it is a still a grand piece of comedy and music that is timeless
So you don't need HELP to get this film..Just order it and get the HELP you need!
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The main reasons I enjoy this film are: 1) The Beatles are in it and 2) I love the songs. I admit, as an inveterate Beatles fan, I am rather biased on this one.
Ringo becomes the target of a crazed cult who pursues him because he wears "the sacrificial ring." High Priestess Ahme (played by Eleanor Bron) leads a band of inept thugs on a wild chase, following the Beatles from England to the Bahamas.
Each Beatle maintains his own distinct, individual and unique personality and input. John provides the quick quips, ("I'm into rhythm guitar and mouth organ," he tells one thug). Paul provides the straight answers and is a serious foil to John's tendency to fall back into light banter. George maintains a stoic pose and does not go along with popular opinion gladly. In one memorable scene, Victor Spinetti, whose role in this movie is to protect the Beatles, claims he can do voice imitations from "Cagney to Ringo," George grimaces and says, "Doesn't sound A BIT like Cagney!" He also tells a motoring thug who inadvertently picks him up, "thanks for the lift, sailor!"
Ringo appears quite at ease with acting. He maintains his lovable, good old Ringo persona and yet he shows a delightful streak of independence. Ringo does not suffer a fool gladly and he provides many clever retorts throughout the movie.
I admit, I really enjoyed this movie. I preferred the Beatles' first film, the 1964 classic "A Hard Day's Night," but I do enjoy this one. Since I love the Beatles and the song selections are excellent (from the sad, beautiful "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" to the rousing "Ticket to Ride" and a Harrison composition, "I Need You"), I gave this one 5 stars.
The Beatles are here to stay, yeah, yeah, yeah!
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2007
"Help!" has never been released in its original aspect ratio. NEVER. Watch the VHS release, the Criterion laserdisc, or the previous DVD incarations. You can see portions cut off from the edges of the screen. In the past the distributors tried to convince us that "Help!" was never wide screen--but it wasn't of strict TV proportions either, as evidenced by what you can blatantly see missing at the edges of the screen.
As exciting as the restoration and extras sound, I'm concerned about the fact that NOTHING is being said about the aspect ratio. Which makes me nervous that once again we'll get a full-screen version, with no valid explanation as to why.
APPLE, please clarify!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Review no. 288. What was this, their second feature film? Classic 1965 Beatles flick, with actually a decent plot to it. Personally, I liked this movie better than 'A Hard Day's Night'. Don't ask me why. Don't believe I've watched this film since I was a kid. Movie centers around some weirdo religious cult and their 'great Swami' leader attempting at ALL costs to snatch a sacrificial ring from Ringo. They try by hiding in a mailbox, a sandwich machine, etc. Several semi-side splitting scenes through the picture. Songs that were bringing back some precious memories were "You're Going To Lose That Girl", "Ticket To Ride", "The Night Before" (one of my personal favorites), "I Need You" and "She's A Woman". Heard from a friend of mine and I totally agree that one cool factor about this movie was the way the Fab Four's house appeared to be of average size on the outside but when you step inside, the place is huge. Sort of cartoon-like. Liked the way John (was it?) had his bed in a lowered portion of the guy's pad. A forty year-plus film that hasn't lost much at all through the years. Fun to watch.