Help! (partially found deleted scenes from The Beatles film; 1965)

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The Beatles Help!.jpg

The film's poster.

Status: Partially Found

Help! is a 1965 British musical comedy-adventure film directed by Richard Lester, starring the Beatles and featuring Leo McKern, Eleanor Bron, Victor Spinetti, John Bluthal, Roy Kinnear and Patrick Cargill. The plot sees the group struggle to record their new album while trying to protect Starr from a sinister cult and a pair of mad scientists, all of whom are obsessed with obtaining one of his rings.

As with most films, several scenes from Help! ended up on the cutting room floor. However, due to the industry norms at the time of production, no out takes or full length deleted scenes were kept once the film was completed. Some of these missing scenes can be found in the film's novelization or in clips of the trailer.

Ringo's Private Dairy Barn[edit | edit source]

When the group is shown at their terrace home, each Beatle has a short gag of each them relaxing. In the released film, after Lennon, McCartney and Harrison it cuts to Ringo getting a sandwich from a vending machine. In the deleted footage, he first walks to a closet at the end of his room. Inside, there's a live cow. He milks the cow straight into a glass and walks away.

The deleted closet cow scene.

Screenshots from an anniversary VHS release have surfaced online.[1]

The Sam Ahab School of Transcendental Elocution[edit | edit source]

The longest and most well known cut scene amongst fans was a scene involving The Beatles visiting the acting school of Sam Ahab (played by British comedian Frankie Howerd).

The scene originally began after the group first meets Clang (portrayed by Australian actor Leo McKern) as they are getting into their car. We then see them arriving at Ahab's school for acting lessons. From the dialogue, Ahab is pretentious, preferring to call acting "transcending" and giving them acting instructions like "limber and lope." (to which John asks, "Which do you want first, Sam - the limber?"). As the group’s lesson continues, Ahab grows impatient with the group’s antics.

McCartney catches the attention of another acting student in the class, only known as "Lady Macbeth" (played by Wendy Richard). The two strike up a conversation until Ahab notices and orders Paul to leave her alone. Lady Macbeth continues her exercises which involve a lot of screaming, which George finds irritating and puts in some earplugs.

A shot from the Sam Ahab deleted scene. Left to right: John Lennon, George Harrison and Frankie Howerd.

At this point, Clang plays hypnotic music that puts everyone into a trance. Clang and the thugs get hold of Ringo and tries to pull out the ring from his finger. When that fails, they try to cut off his hand using a hatchet. George (unaffected by the hypnotic chant due to the earplugs) confronts Clang and his minions. After awhile the spell wears off and the others wake up. Clang escapes with Ahme (portrayed by Eleanor Bron) and his two other thugs.[2]

In an interview included in the 2007 DVD, director Richard Lester said the scene was removed due to its length. All that is believed to of survived of the scene is a still promotional shot taken on set.

Car Chase Scenes[edit | edit source]

Various shots of The Beatles in a car chase survive in the film's original trailer. This includes shots of the groups driving around in the dirt and members of the cult trying to break into a car George Harrison is in with a dome roof.[3] This is the only known footage that has survived of any of the deleted scenes.

The original US drive-in movie trailer, featuring the missing car footage.

See Also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ringo's Private Dairy Barn. Retrieved 22 Jul '21
  2. The Sam Ahab School of Transcendental Elocution. Retrieved 22 Jul '21
  3. The Vintage Car Race. Retrieved 22 Jul '21