HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Help! Lord of the Ringo
Year: 1965
Director: Richard Lester
Stars: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Leo McKern, Eleanor Bron, Victor Spinetti, Roy Kinnear, Patrick Cargill, John Bluthal, Alfie Bass, Warren Mitchell, Peter Copley, Bruce Lacey, Ronnie Brody, Dandy Nichols, Gretchen Franklin
Genre: Musical, Comedy, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: A sacred religious rite is about to begin, and the high priest, Clang (Leo McKern), recites the incantation and advances on the sacrificial victim with a dagger. But wait, there's something not quite right - the sacrifice isn't wearing the special jeweled ring and the ceremony has to be postponed. So who owns the ring now? None other than Ringo Starr, drummer with popular pop band The Beatles and when Clang has film projected of the band performing the ring is there for all to see on Ringo's finger. Meanwhile, the Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and of course Ringo, are returning to the home they share, little knowing of the far fetched attempts of the cult members to get back their ring...

The first film The Beatles starred in was A Hard Day's Night, considered a great success all round and showing off the stars to their best advantage. For the follow up, the problem was evidently where to go next with them as they couldn't simply repeat the formula exactly so what they apparently did was get scriptwriters Marc Behm and Charles Wood to fashion a movie version of The Goon Show for them to star in (director Richard Lester had previously made films with the Goons). The storyline, such as it is, rambles around looking more concerned with giving the band nice holidays than coming up with a coherent plot.

But as far as surreal, nonsense humour goes, Help! is inventive and at times laugh out loud funny. Most of the action is taken up with the cult members going to great lengths to secure the ring which remains stubbornly attached to its current owner's finger: not even Ringo can get rid of it, something which he is concerned about considering his life is now in danger. After their suspicions are raised (by post boxes and vending machines grabbing Ringo's hand), the Beatles venture to three locations to find out more. First an Indian restaurant which isn't run by Indians, then a jeweller whose tools are broken by the ring, and finally two scientists, Foot (Victor Spinetti) and Algernon (Roy Kinnear) who take a great interest.

So great that they go to similar lengths as the cultists to get their hands on the bauble. The British 1960s love affair with "The Mystic East" is in evidence here, or what became Harrison's love affair with it at any rate, and colours the comedy, although no Asian actors are given important roles, with, for example, Eleanor Bron as Ahme, the cultist who secretly helps out the Fab Four. But it's really just a showcase for the band to mutter and quip their way through various unlikely situations, despite here displaying less of their personalities than we saw in their first film - they could have changed roles halfway through and nobody would have noticed.

Then there's the music, and regular breaks for the famous songs are included throughout, looking like nascent pop videos. "Ticket to Ride" is the most celebrated sequence, with the group messing about on skis, but others like "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" (serenading Bron) and "The Night Before" (on an army training ground surrounded by tanks) are just as effective. There are funny lines ("What's your electric bill like?") and imaginative bits (Paul is shrunk during a fight), but Help! does begin to drag eventually, with ninety minutes of relentless silliness a bit too much to take. However, as a pop culture artefact, it's full of interest and even if the Beatles didn't like it much, you might enjoy its idiosyncrasies. Me, I like the way they "ho, ho!" while piled on the sledge. You wouldn't catch Elvis Presley doing that in his films. Additional music by Ken Thorne.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6001 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Richard Lester  (1932 - )

American director, from television, in Britain whose initially zany style could give way to genuine suspense and emotion. After making his film debut with short The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film, which featured Goons Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, he went on to throwaway projects like It's Trad, Dad and Mouse on the Moon. His next, however, was a smash hit all over the world: A Hard Day's Night, not least because it had The Beatles as stars.

Lester was at his most successful in the sixties and early seventies, with notable movies like The Knack, Beatles follow up Help!, stage adaptation A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, satire How I Won the War, romance Petulia, weird comedy The Bed Sitting Room, The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers and very British disaster movie Juggernaut.

Efforts like Royal Flash, Robin and Marian, gay bathhouse comedy The Ritz and Cuba made less impact, but in the eighties Lester was called in to salvage the Superman series after Richard Donner walked off Superman II; Lester also directed Superman III. Finders Keepers was a flop comedy, and Return of the Musketeers had a tragic development when one of his regular cast, Roy Kinnear, died while filming. Lester then decided to give up directing, with Paul McCartney concert Get Back his last film.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: