"Help!" clearly was in need of help. It's been a long decade since MPI released its DVD version of the Beatles' second movie. That disc has long since been out of print, with copies going for about $100 as Amazon collectibles. The movie remained in limbo because of the usual Fab Four "rights issues," as with "Let It Be."
Apple Corps. and EMI are rereleasing "Help!" on
Oct. 30 Nov. 6 in a restored version with a new 5.1 remix of the soundtrack.
Must have been a Fab Four vibe out there; this DVD blog ran a look back at the "A Hard Day's Night" DVD just last week.
Here are the "Help!" extras listed in the Apple Corps. press release.
- "The Beatles in Help!": 30-minute documentary about the making of the film with director Richard Lester, the cast and crew. Includes exclusive behind the scenes footage of the Beatles on set.
- Missing scene with Wendy Richard (of "EastEnders" fame).
- "The Restoration of Help!": An in-depth look at the restoration process.
- "Memories of Help!": The cast and crew reminisce.
- Theatrical trailers: Two from the U.S. and one from Spain.
- 1965 U.S. radio spots (Easter eggs in menus)
In addition to the double-disc edition there's a "Help!" deluxe edition with a reproduction of Lester’s original annotated script, reproductions of eight lobby cards and a poster, plus a 60-page book with "rarely seen photographs" and production notes from the movie.
Both the deluxe book and the standard booklet have an introduction by Lester ("A Hard Day's Night") and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese.
"Help!" wasn't in the same league with "A Hard Day's Night," but I always loved it anyway. The Fabs have a lark with the idiotic secret agent-era plot and there are some great bits of surrealism involving John Lennon (of course). The musical numbers always played better for me in this movie, in color and with better sound.
Have a look back at the "Help!" trailer.
Preorder "Help!" now at Amazon.