The Beatles’ second feature film, 1965’s Help!, is on the way on Blu-ray. On June 24 (June 25 in North America), Help! makes its eagerly awaited Blu-ray debut in a single-disc package pairing the digitally restored film and 5.1 soundtrack with an hour of extra features, including a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, memories of the cast and crew, an in-depth look at the restoration process, an outtake scene, and original theatrical trailers and radio spots. An introduction by the film’s director, Richard Lester, and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese are included in the Blu-ray’s booklet.
Help!’s Blu-ray edition follows the 2012 release of The Beatles’ digitally restored Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour feature films on Blu-ray, DVD and iTunes with extensive extras. Help!’s restoration for its 2007 DVD debut wowed viewers, earning five-times platinum sales in the U.S. and praise from a broad range of top media outlets around the world, including USA Today heralding the DVD as “a grand re-release,” The Guardian’s appreciation of the film’s director, Richard Lester, saying “Lester matches The Beatles’ ‘star’ power with smart, colourful visuals and casual surrealism,” The Los Angeles Times’ restoration rave: “With dynamic compression that was standard in the 1960s lifted for the digital age, the full range of the group’s musicality comes through – it’s like several coats of dust have been cleaned off an old master’s painting,” and four-star reviews from Rolling Stone and MOJO with the latter saying, “They really don't make them like this anymore.”
Directed by Richard Lester, who also directed the band’s debut feature film, 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night, Help! follows The Beatles as they become passive recipients of an outside plot that revolves around Ringo's possession of a sacrificial ring, which he cannot remove from his finger. As a result, he and his bandmates John, Paul and George are chased from London to the Austrian Alps and the Bahamas by religious cult members, a mad scientist and the London police.
In addition to starring The Beatles, Help! boasts a witty script, a great cast of British character actors, and classic Beatles songs “Help!,” “You're Going To Lose That Girl,” “You've Got To Hide Your Love Away,” “Ticket To Ride,” “I Need You,” “The Night Before,” and “Another Girl.”
Help!’s Blu-ray package pairs the digitally restored original film with these extra features:
• “The Beatles in Help!” – a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film with Richard Lester, the cast and crew, including exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of The Beatles on-set.
• “A Missing Scene” – a film outtake, featuring Wendy Richard
• “The Restoration of Help!” – an in-depth look at the restoration process
• “Memories of Help!” – the cast and crew reminisce
• 1965 Theatrical Trailers – two original U.S. trailers and one original Spanish trailer
• 1965 U.S. Radio Spots (hidden in disc menus)