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YMMV / Help!

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  • Award Snub: This album lost the Grammy Award for "Best Performance by a Vocal Group" to a group called the Anita Kerr Singers, whose album We Dig Mancini never even placed in the Top 40. Tellingly, Anita was vice president of the Nashville chapter of the NARAS in the mid 60s.
  • Awesome Music - Should go without saying in a Beatles movie!
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • "The Exciting Adventure of Paul on the Floor", in which Paul shrinks to a minuscule size and has a brief exciting adventure on the floor.
    • Intermission. Seven seconds of pure "what the heck was that?"
    • The film's dedication to Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine.
  • Covered Up:
    • "Act Naturally", to the extent that original artist Buck Owens would later record a duet version with Ringo.
    • "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" also counts, though Larry Williams has gotten a bit of a Colbert Bump from their covering it and others of his songs.
  • Fridge Logic: Invoked. How does owning a ring that can't be removed from one's finger help one gain global domination? Who cares! The people chasing after it are clearly raving bonkers and desperate for anything.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: "Yesterday" was kept as just a side two track on the original UK album, but Capitol Records elected to release it as the follow-up single to "Help!" in the US. It debuted at #45 on the Billboard Hot 100, leaped up to #3 the next week, and hit #1 in its third week, staying there for four weeks. It also became a hit in a bunch of other countries, and was generally viewed as an instant classic. It eventually got released on an EP in the UK in early 1966, was included on the A Collection of Beatles Oldies compilation later that year, and finally got a proper 45 release there in 1976 (reaching #8 on the UK charts).
  • Growing the Beard: Help! was the band's first album to be widely recognized as a work of art, with many critics comparing it to the works of preestablished Classical Music composers. Subsequent albums would only see further comparisons in this vein, spurring the artistic legitimization of rock music as a whole.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Seeing John Lennon being threatened with a gun, especially since Foot actually fires it right at him, of all people, though it jams. Also, seeing George Harrison attacked with a melee weapon in his own home now seems very wrong.
    • The Beatles are eventually told that the "sacrifice" will involve Ringo being "disemboweled," which is squicky enough. But it gets more uncomfortable in light of the major surgery poor Ringo had to undergo in 1979, where a significant portion of his intestine was removed—ironically, to save his life.
      • Likewise, "Is it habit forming?" is harder to laugh at after reading about Ringo's frightening twenty-year battle with alcoholism and cocaine addiction.
    • The scene where a bunch of vaguely Middle Eastern/South Asian cultists are rounded up and put into a prison camp on a Caribbean island (Guantanamo, anyone?).
    • George saying "I've never seen any drummers with one, you know..." doesn't seem as silly in light of what happened to Rick Allen.
    • Juxtapose the Beatles' concern not to step on shrunken Paul as "it's his best suit", or George cracking on Paul's goofy "Indian scout" delivery when he discovers fake footprints on the road in the Bahamas, by saying, "Don't encourage him. You've got the part, Paul", with the band's later Creative Differences with Paul five years later in Real Life, to say nothing of the earlier scene where George lunges for the throat of one of the bad guys and gets John, instead.
      John (choking): It's me, you fool!
      George (teeth gritted, still strangling him): Oh! Sorry!
    • The ingredients of The Beatles, Asia and threats of kidnapping and violence are Played for Laughs here, but became disturbingly real during their ill-fated 1966 Asian tour. In Japan, ultranationalists accused the band of intruding on Japanese culture, with a big Berserk Button pressed when it was announced that they would play shows at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, a venue that had been reserved for martial arts up to that point. There were a few death threats, and they spent much of the Japan visit confined to their hotel. But Japan was a piece of cake compared to the Philippines. After landing in Manila, the band was whisked away by armed guards without explanation, ending up on a yacht owned by a local tycoon, where they unwittingly became the guests at a private party. The next day, they skipped an official reception hosted by First Lady Imelda Marcos,note  which was taken by some people as an insult to the entire nation, resulting in more death threats and climaxing with the band and their entourage getting physically assaulted by a mob at the airport as they were leaving the country.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Everything about the Beatles being on the run from (essentially) Indians and making (joking) comments about their 'filthy Eastern ways', considering they would later embrace that culture. In particular, a scene where the cultists quickly replace a band in a restaurant and start playing an Indianised instrumental version of A Hard Day's Night. In fact, George Harrison first got interested in the sitar seeing it used in that scene. And the fact that he would go on to openly practice Hinduism after making a movie that portrays an Eastern religion as a murderous cult is a bit ironic.
    • Ringo, George, and John's disguises in the airport are almost uncanny in predicting the looks they'd have in the future. Ringo's fake beard is basically the beard he'd go on to adopt as his trademark, John looks like his 1969 self with round glasses and a long beard, and George's beard is close to his Sgt. Pepper-era one (though he'd later go with a mustache as his preferred facial hair).
    • At a certain point, the Beatles dress as a military band...
    • Contrast the band members' stories that they were stoned on marijuana when they filmed the movie, with this bit of dialogue, as Ahme is attempting to inject Ringo's finger with a formula designed to shrink his finger so that the ring will fall off:
    Paul: But is it mainlining, or habit-forming?
    George: (sticking gum in his mouth) Not as long as you don't swallow it.
    • The band's attempts to induce Ringo to part with his ring finger, since they figure he doesn't need it to play the drums. In 2006, Capitol Records edited the cover of a Beatles boxed set they were releasing, clumsily airbrushing the cigarettes out of the band member's hands. The result was that Ringo lost two fingers.
    • The movie's especially funny in light of the fact that The Beatles later tried to get the rights to make their own film version of The Lord of the Rings (no, really). They probably figured they had experience acting in a film about a ring that all the bad guys are trying to take...
    • In the Beatles' home, Paul's organ has Superman comic books on the sheet holder. Richard Lester, who directed the film, later directed half of Superman II as well as Superman III.
    • Ringo says "There's more here than meets the eye..." after the attempt in the bathroom.
    • The repeated bondage Ringo ends up in makes it just a bit funnier in his TV movie "Ringo," when he tells a female cop upon being handcuffed, "I'm not usually into this, but I could be," and his even later music video series "The Cooler" an absolute riot. Apparently the shrinking potion wasn't the only thing that was habit-forming.
    • This wouldn't be the last surreal British comedy with a seconds-long intermission.
    • The fact that Peter Sellers turned down a role in the film because he didn't want to play second fiddle to the Beatles. Years later, he turned up in The Beatles: Get Back, because he happened to be visiting Twickenham Studios at a moment when the Beatles were reeling from George Harrison's walkout. Sellers (who was anyway uncomfortable without having a role to play) comes across as super-awkward and leaves after only a few minutes... having just played second fiddle to the Beatles.
    • The soundtrack features a version of the James Bond Theme before the title song proper. Years later, Ringo would marry Barbara Bach, the female lead in The Spy Who Loved Me.
  • Ho Yay: John and Ringo
    Ringo: What was it that first attracted you to me?
    John: Well, you're very polite.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • So Bad, It's Good: It was supposed to be, but not necessarily for the reasons that it actually is...
  • Sophomore Slump: Even reviewers who liked the film felt it was a step or two down from A Hard Day's Night, passing up the low-key humor of that film for a more zany comedic tone, with mixed results.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: For modern viewers, it almost plays like a feature-length episode of The Monkees, showing how much that show borrowed Help!'s style and tone (though The Beatles gave the show Approval of God). The later Monkees movie Head is basically "What if Help! was directed by Federico Fellini?"
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Literally - the Beatles willingly admitted that the whole movie was filmed "in a haze of marijuana smoke." Just listen to John's awkward laugh when Ringo's finger is magnetized to the ceiling of their elevator as evidence of how checked out they were.