The Beatles ‘Help!’ Is Coming on DVD

The Beatles 1965 feature film Help! will be released in a special two-DVD set on October 30, according to Apple Corps Ltd., the company founded by the British group. The disc will be marketed and distributed by EMI Music.

Help! is the Beatles’ second feature-length film, specifically written for the group as a musical comedy. The plot combines Marx Brothers–style ensemble slapstick with a send-up of the James Bond espionage films popular with moviegoers in the mid Sixties.

The story follows the Beatles as they become caught up in a plot by a religious cult to retrieve a sacrificial ring stuck on one of drummer Ringo’s fingers. The wearer of the ring must be sacrificed, resulting in numerous screwball attempts on Ringo’s life. The madcap story moves from London to the Austrian Alps and the Bahamas, as John, Paul, George and Ringo flee their pursuers and search in vain for a way to remove the sacrificial ring.

Along the way, the film presents seven classic Beatles tracks: “Help!” “You're Going to Lose That Girl,” “You've Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “Ticket to Ride,” “I Need You,” “The Night Before,” and “Another Girl.”

Help! was directed by Richard Lester, who also directed the band’s 1964 debut feature film, A Hard Days Night. Help! has previously been released on home video formats, including VHS, Laserdisc and DVD.

The new two-DVD set will feature the original film, digitally restored and with a newly created 5.1 soundtrack, on Disc 1. Disc 2 will contain an hour’s worth of bonus features, including background on the film’s restoration, cast and crew reminiscences, a scene cut from the film, original trailers for the U.S. and Spanish markets, and U.S. radio spots. In addition, Disc 2 will feature The Beatles in Help!, a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, with director Richard Lester, the cast and crew. The documentary includes exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the Beatles on the set.

The DVD will be issued in a standard digipack case and in a deluxe boxed set containing a reproduction of Lester’s original annotated script, eight lobby cards, a poster and a 60-page book containing photographs and production notes from the movie. Both the deluxe book and the standard booklet will feature an introduction by Lester and an appreciation by film director Martin Scorsese.

The DVD trailer is below.

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