Sep 6, 2007

UPDATED: Help! Comes To DVD At Last!

Britain's two biggest exports of the 1960s crossed paths on several occasions: among them when one rather rudely commented that the other should never be listened to without earmuffs whilst lecturing a lovely lady on the correct temperature at which to drink Dom Perignon '53, and when a member of the other composed and sang the theme song for a 1973 entry in the one's popular film series. But the ultimate synthesis of Bond and Beatles had to be the fab four's own 1965 film Help!, which sent up the whole spy craze going on around them (among other things). Help! featured The Prisoner's most famous Number 2, Leo McKern, as a Bondian baddie named Clang, leader of a vicious cult after the Beatles. Also chasing them were Victor Spinetti and Roy Kinnear, as mad scientists. (Naturally.) Regular Beatles producer George Martin composed the score, crafting a nice Beatley take on John Barry-like spy themes, and prefiguring his own score to Live And Let Die.

Director Richard Lester's follow-up to A Hard Day's Night is scheduled to be released November 6, 2007 (NOTE NEW DATE) from EMI Music as a two-disc set. Bonus features include a deleted scene, a 30-minute documentary on the making of Help! with "exclusive behind the scenes footage of the Beatles on set," "The Restoration of Help!," "Memories of Help!," trailers, radio spots, a written introduction by Lester, and an "appreciation" by Martin Scorcese. The press release goes on to reveal that "there will be 2 editions of the DVD - a standard digipack and a deluxe boxed set that will contain a reproduction of Richard Lester’s original annotated script, 8 lobby cards and a poster, plus a 60-page book with rarely seen photographs and production notes from the movie." Sounds like a great edition of a pop culture classic long sought after by music fans and spy fans alike!

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