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 outtakes or full-length deleted scenes were kept once the film was completed. To date, the only deleted clip to survive is a brief shot of the car chase scene when The Beatles are in the Bahamas. Despite continued interest in the group, researchers have been unable to find any further deleted scenes.

Over the years, production stills shot during the filming of some of these missing scenes have been included in home media releases of Help! since the 1980s. An official novelisation released in 1965, also detailed some of the missing scenes and a reproduction of the original shooting script (titled "Beatles 2" the film's working title) that was included on the Deluxe Edition of Help! on DVD, also detailed these missing scenes. There is also 8mm home movie footage shot on location, that has been made public, which captures the filming of these lost scenes.

Ringo's Private Dairy Barn

When the group is shown at their terrace home, each Beatle has a short gag of each of 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.

Promotional shots from the days shooting appeared in 1987 on the Criterion Collection Special Edition Laserdisc.[1] [2]

Missing Alligator scene

This deleted scene had Clung and his thugs making another attempt on capturing the ring from Ringo. This time disguised in a Harrods van and using a small alligator to bite off Ringo's hand.

Shots from the days shooting appeared in 1987 on the Criterion Collection Special Edition Laserdisc. [2]

Missing sequences from the Austrian Alps scene

A "Flashback" sequence was cut from the film that explained how the group arrived in the Austrian Alps. This brief cut-away sequence originally took place after the "Ticket To Ride" performance. There was also a cut part of the scene where The Beatles are about to go sledding and are discussing Ringo's safety.

There was another shot deleted during the skiing scene where Ringo skis through a restaurant and swaps his ski pole for a flaming shish kabab a waiter is holding.

The Sam Ahab School of Transcendental Elocution

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 try to pull out the ring from his finger. When that fails, they try to cut off his hand using a hatchet (which ends up stuck in a mirror). George (unaffected by the hypnotic chant due to the earplugs) confronts Clang and his minions. The spell wears off and the others wake up. Clang escapes with Ahme (portrayed by Eleanor Bron) and his two other thugs.[3]

After John removes the hatchet and presents it to Lady Macbeth ("Is this a chopper that you see before you?"), a shot of the mirror with Sam Ahab's name reviles his name backward is bahA maS (which is the next scene).

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 the scene is the promotional still shots taken on set.[4]

Missing Bahamas scenes and partially found car chase scenes

Other scenes shot in the Bahamas were cut from the movie was a scene with John in a hotel swimming pool riding a bicycle. Behind-the-scenes footage from the day's shooting was captured on an 8mm home movie camera, which has since been made public.

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.[5] This is the only known footage that has survived any of the deleted scenes.

Video Gallery

Feature from the 2007 Help! DVD detailing the deleted "Sam Ahab School of Transcendental Elocution" scene.

Bonus feature from the 1987 Criterion Collection Laserdisc. Featuring stills from deleted scenes.

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

Parlogram Auctions video. Recreating the missing scenes from the Austrian Alps.

Behind the scenes 8mm home movie footage from the deleted swimming pool sequence.

See Also

External Links


  1. Ringo's Private Dairy Barn. Retrieved 22 Jul '21
  2. 2.0 2.1 Help!: The Beatles: Special Edition #16 (1965)
  3. The Sam Ahab School of Transcendental Elocution. Retrieved 22 Jul '21
  4. Dick Leister interview from Help! Special Edition DVD features.
  5. The Vintage Car Race. Retrieved 22 Jul '21