The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Unwanted Image #13

An excised scene from Help!
(Richard Lester; 1965)


swac said...

Crap, you beat me to this one.

I had no idea Howerd was supposed to be in Help until I got the new DVD.

Too bad the footage seems to have gone astray...

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Thanks for confirming that's Howerd, Stephen...that's the first thing I yelled out when I saw this pic,

swac said...

There's a segment on the new Help! DVD all about this scene, with lots of stills and an interview with Eastenders' Wendy Richard who was in it (but nowhere else in the movie).

Here's the imdb info:
There was a lengthy scene in the movie (running around 10 minutes) which was filmed but never used. This follows the Beatles escape from Clang and before the elevator scene between John and Ringo, and involved them hiding out at the "Sam Ahab School of Transcendental Elocution", an acting school run by Sam Ahab (played by Frankie Howerd). Sam's pupil Lady Macbeth (a young Wendy Richard) performs a meditation song which causes George to block his ears with earplugs while Clang and his men (hidden in the fireplace) play a piece of music which sends everyone else into a trance. A struggle ensues, as Clang attempts to chop Ringo's hand off with a hatchet to retrieve the ring but the gang are fought off by the non-hypnotized George. After the men flee (and the hatchet is hurled by Clang into a mirror) the others are revived and the scene ends with John yanking the hatchet from the (non-broken) mirror, handing it to Lady Macbeth, and saying, "Is this a chopper that you see before you?". Although filmed this scene has not yet been discovered and may no longer exist.

NOTE: Sam Ahab is "Bahamas" backward.

Richard Gibson said...

BBC2 and BBC4 just showed the the digitally restored version of this and it was excellent, really pristine. I always remember when it was on VHS the picture was bad.

If you go to the Radio 4 website, The Film Programme had a nice interview with Richard Lester, he hadn't seen it in 35 years, it was a good 10 minute interview of him reflecting on this.

Vanwall said...

I saw that yesterday on the news, Richard....I'm sooo jealous. ;-)

swac said...

Thankfully, they didn't botch the sound on this one like they did with Hard Day's Night...I'm amazed they never sued the Monkees though.

Sid Smith said...

Great pic of Frankie!Looks as though this one will have to go on my Xmas list. I've got a dreary old VHS copy which you can only just make out.