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Trivia / Help!

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The film

  • Corpsing:
    • When the Eastern cult members are breaking into the Beatles' home, John hits one of them with a telephone, saying "Oh, sorry, I hit him..."
    • In the "Another Girl" scene, Paul pretends to play bass by using a girl. While "strumming", his hand briefly skims her top, and he visibly chuckles.
  • Creator Backlash: John Lennon hated this film when he looked back on it in 1970. In fact, the band as a whole wasn't too fond of the end product, feeling like they were extras in their own movie. By 1980, John had warmed up to the film a bit, calling it a precursor to Batman (1966). He noted that his main problem was that no one really explained to the band what the movie was about or the tone it was going for, but also admitted that all four of them were "smoking marijuana for breakfast" during the filming, and probably were told, but didn't listen.
  • Cut Song:
    • "That Means a Lot" was written for the film, but the Beatles were not satisfied with their performance of the song and they gave it to P.J. Proby, who released it as a single.
    • "You Like Me Too Much" and "Tell Me What You See" were rejected for use in the film by Richard Lester, though they did appear on the album.
  • Deleted Role: A sequence featuring Frankie Howerd (as Sam Ahab) and Wendy Richard was filmed but left out of final editing owing to its length. However, the sequence was left in the film novelisation.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • Footage for a few deleted scenes has been floating around. One of the most prominent ones is for a scene in which The Beatles attend The Sam Ahab School of Transcendental Elocution. While there, they, Sam Ahab, and another student known as "Lady Macbeth" are hypnotized by the cult's "Go to the Window" music, except for George, who was wearing earplugs. They try to chop off Ringo's hand while most of the room is in a trance, but George knocks the axe (!!!) they were using out of their hands and into a mirror. The cult flees and everyone wakes up to see the axe left behind. The scene ends with John removing the axe and asking Lady Macbeth "Is this a chopper that you see before you?". This scene would have explained why Ringo withdrew his hand so quickly the next time they tried to cut it off, as well as how the boys knew to plug their ears in the Scotland Yard scene.
    • One scene cut from the movie had George Harrison, disguised as Ringo Starr, sitting in a treehouse.
    • A scene cut from the film was to have been within the attempts to kill Ringo, (within the five attempts), it involved Ringo making a phone call in a phone box, and a botched sacrifice attempt made within the phone box.
  • Fake Nationality: All the cultists from 'the East' are played by English actors. This is Lampshaded when the Beatles visit the Indian Restaurant "seeking enlightenment as to rings" from someone from "the mystic East" but quickly learn that everyone working there is English.
    Ringo: He's from the West!
    Restaurant Host: No, the East... Stepney.
  • Leitmotif: "She's a Woman" and "You Can't Do That" for the cult and the scientists, respectively.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The film was released in a special collectors' edition (costing £50 as opposed to £15 for the standard edition) which came in an A4 (210mm*297mm)*50mm box; for that extra £35 one got reproductions of the lobby cards, publicity posters, and shooting script, plus a "Making Of" book.
  • Reality Subtext: Paul says to Ringo "Well, you didn't miss your tonsils, did you?", referencing the fact that Ringo had a tonsillectomy earlier that year.
  • Throw It In: Part of the "Ticket to Ride" sequence, which the directors considered beautiful, was marred by the presence of telegraph poles in the background. Attempts at removing them failed...and then someone had the idea of superimposing musical notes over the wires in time with "I think I'm going to be sad..."
  • Uncredited Role:
  • What Could Have Been:
    • According to still photos included in the "making of" documentary on the new Special Edition DVD, one of the features in Ringo's apartment space that were not used in the movie was a little dining room table and chairs in the vending machine wall that would pop out in the same manner as Paul's organ.
    • Peter Sellers turned down a role, not wanting to play second fiddle to the Beatles.
  • Working Title: The name "Help" was taken by something else so the name Eight Arms to Hold You was considered. When Capitol Records released "Ticket to Ride" as a single in America a few months in advance of the film, they listed this as the title. However, they were able to use the name "Help" anyway by adding an exclamation mark.
  • You Look Familiar: Victor Spinetti and John Bluthal also appeared in A Hard Day's Night.

The album

  • Black Sheep Hit:
    • The Beatles declined to release "Yesterday" as a single in Great Britain for fear it would become one of these. (Let's just say that their producer proposed that it be a Paul McCartney solo work. The world was not ready.) It became the most covered of their songs.
    • "Help!" originally written as a slow, bleak ballad similar to "Yesterday," was retooled into a rock song for similar reasons too.
  • Bury Your Art: The original stereo mix has only scarcely been reissued since the '80s, owed to producer George Martin's dissatisfaction with it. Instead, most reissues use the new stereo remix he created for the band's first catalog-wide CD releases in 1987.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • John Lennon wasn't fond of the way "Help!" turned out, as its lyrics were meant to be serious. He wanted it to be a piano ballad. He also said he hated "It's Only Love".
    • "I Need You" and "You Like Me Too Much" are the only George Harrison-composed Beatles songs that don't have their lyrics reprinted in the song-by-song commentary section of his memoir I Me Mine, suggesting that he considered them a point of regret.
  • Creator Breakdown: John Lennon stated in interviews that the lyrics of "Help!" were more literal than most people assumed, as well as the seemingly over-the-top suicidal lyrics of "Yer Blues" (he explained that he made them over-the-top so he could dismiss it as a parody in case anybody worried about him being very depressed). This probably applies to lots of his other songs as well.
  • Cut Song:
    • Lennon and McCartney wrote "If You've Got Trouble" for Ringo Starr to sing, but the song was rejected and Starr sang "Act Naturally" (which is not in the film but is about being in the movies) instead.
    • Lennon said "Yes It Is" was "me trying a rewrite of 'This Boy', but it didn't work"; it was released as the B-side of "Ticket to Ride" and was also on Beatles VI.
  • Nominal Coauthor: John Lennon and Paul McCartney agreed that they'd be credited as equal co-authors for all Beatles songs that they wrote, so Lennon is (and his estate gets royalties for his being) co-author of "Yesterday" even though McCartney wrote it all by himself.
  • Throw It In: "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" contains a line that is sung as "If she's gone, I can't go on, feeling two foot small". John Lennon flubbed the line, which was originally "two foot tall", but he felt that the new line worked better and kept it.
  • Referenced by...: In the Doctor Who serial "The Chase", the TARDIS crew watch the band play "Ticket to Ride" on Top of the Pops (which is the only surviving footage of any of their appearances). Vicki mentions their memorial theatre in Liverpool and while she's a fan, she had no idea they played classical music. Bonus points — her actress Maureen O'Brien is from Liverpool.
  • What Could Have Been: As mentioned above, George Martin wanted "Yesterday" to be released as a Paul McCartney solo song, since none of the other Beatles participated, but Brian Epstein said no.