The Beatles' movie 'Help!' turns 50
When the Beatles' movie 'Help!' opened on August 25, 1965, the general consensus was that it was the second-best Beatles movie ever made.
It was, of course, only the band's second movie, after 'A Hard Day's Night' had been released the year before.
It's lack of critical acclaim compared to their previous work, which had earned two Oscar nominations, lead the boys to consider their movie options. They wanted more plot and acting for their third venture.
'Help!' had at one point been titled 'Eight Arms to Hold You' and was a spy spoof about a cult pursuing Ringo's ring. But, as in the first film, the quartet ended up playing themselves.
Their search for a new project took them down some weird paths, reports Variety. At one point, the Beatles asked Stanley Kubrick to direct them in 'The Lord of the Rings.'
John, Paul, George and Ringo would respectively play Gollum, Frodo, Galdalf and Sam. But J.R.R. Tolkien, the book's writer, turned them down.
Their three-film contract with United Artists was eventually filled by the 1970 documentary 'Let It Be.' (The animated 'Yellow Submarine' didn't count.)
Each of the four Beatles appeared separately in films in the ensuing years, but acting always took a back seat to their music.