Beatles’ ‘Help!’ screening July 30 for 50th anniversary

The Beatles and ‘Help!’

The Beatles -- George Harrison, left, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and John Lennon -- at a press conference in Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 1965, before their performance at the Hollywood Bowl. Their second film, “Help!,” had just premiered on July 29, 1965, in London.

(Cal Montney )

For the 50th anniversary of the world premiere of the Beatles second film, “Help!,” the South Pasadena Library will host a free screening on July 30 following a performance of Beatles songs by an ad hoc group of Fab Four-inspired musicians.

The screening comes 50 years and a day after “Help!” premiered in London on July 29, 1965, at the London Pavilion Theatre for an audience that included Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon.

“Help!” has been screened in public venues only sporadically over the years, and the South Pasadena Library arranged this event with special permission from the Beatles company, Apple Corps Ltd. UK.

“Help!” followed the quartet’s 1964 cinematic debut, “A Hard Day’s Night,” the latter considered one of the best rock music films of all time. The low-budget, black-and-white film used a cinema verite approach, which gave way a year later to the bigger-budget, color production of “Help!”


John Lennon often was critical of “Help!” for its outlandish comedy script, involving an Indian religious cult’s plot to kill drummer Ringo Starr because of a sacred ring anonymously sent to him.

But the visual presentation of several new Beatles’ songs, including the title track, “Another Girl,” “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “You’re Going to Lose That Girl,” is considered influential in the evolution of music videos and also provided something of a template for “The Monkees” TV series, which attempted to translate some of the energy of the Beatles to American television in 1966.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. No tickets or reservations are required. Live acoustic renditions of Beatles songs by Devin Thomas and Friends will start at 7, and the film will screen in a Blu-ray projection onto an outdoor screen following the music.

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