Behind-the-Scenes Footage From the Beatles’ ‘Help!’ Surfaces
Beatles fans can look forward to a never-before-seen glimpse behind the scenes of the band’s Help! movie, thanks to footage recently unearthed from the private archive of an actor who worked on the film.
The Guardian reports that late actor Leo McKern, familiar to U.K. audiences for his later lengthy run on Rumpole of the Bailey, captured the band members during their downtime on the set at the Austrian ski resort Obertauern. According to the paper, the footage “shows the Fab Four being very larky and giggly, pretending to play instruments in a brass band and messing around with their stunt doubles.”
McKern presumably viewed the footage after collecting it, but he never released it — and it remained stored away for more than 50 years until his daughter Abigail, who was also filmed playing in the snow, went through the family archives with actor and book dealer Neil Pearson in an effort to “help disperse her mother’s collection of children’s literature.”
The footage is now being sold — the Guardian lists the asking price at roughly $45,000 — but first, it’ll be shown on British television. Tonight (May 12), Abigail McKern is scheduled to help present clips on the BBC program The One Show alongside Paul McCartney‘s stunt double and Eleanor Bron, who played a villainous high priestess in the movie.
“It is unseen footage of people who were, at that time, the most famous people on earth,” said Pearson. “It is footage of golden age Beatles, fooling around between takes, waiting for something to happen … I know that feeling.”