Filming “Help!”

Thursday, April 22, 1965

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From Buskin with The Beatles on Facebook – Today in 1965, having just filmed the black-and-white opening sequence to ‘Help!’ (without the dart throwing), The Beatles began shooting a scene with renowned comic Frankie Howerd and future TV star Wendy Richard that never made it into the finished movie.
Intended to follow the “Hey Be-a-tle!” segment, this was set inside the pop-art, prophetically-named Sam Ahab School of Transcendental Elocution. (Sam Ahab is “Bahamas” spelled backwards.) After the pompous drama coach tells Paul to stop chatting up and distracting his student “Lady Macbeth”, the group members receive a lesson in Shakespearean acting… until strange music sends all of them (except George, who’s wearing ear plugs) into a trance. Enter Clang, Ahme and Bhuta – through the fireplace – for yet another failed attempt to chop off the hand on which Ringo’s wearing the sacrificial ring.
Watching Frankie Howerd’s disciplined approach clash with The Beatles’ laid-back-stoner attitude, director Dick Lester quickly realized the scene wasn’t going to work. Echoing Paul’s discarded solo segment in ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (filmed exactly a year earlier), it slowed the pace and wasn’t particularly funny.
Five years after filming, all unused footage was destroyed.

Last updated on April 23, 2023

Going further

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