The Beatles: ‘Help!’ Turns 50, Learn How They Almost Starred In ‘Lord Of The Rings’

The Beatles’ movie Help! turns 50 years old today, which in itself is pretty exciting for the Fab Four from Liverpool. Though they were only in existence for about 14 years, The Beatles were one of the most prolific bands in history, and their music would influence nearly every popular musical group we listen to today. The Beatles were also known for having a movie career, but if there’s one movie you wouldn’t expect to see them in, it’d be Lord of The Rings. Variety discovered how the boys attempted to wiggle their way onto the set of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy film saga.

“That wasn’t the weirdest project. 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, Gandalf and Sam. But J.R.R. Tolkien turned them down. It’s not clear whether Tolkien just realized how unsuited the four would be to a fantasy epic, or whether he had a more personal objection to their noisy practicing. In a letter, he wrote: “In a house three doors away dwells a member of a group of young men who are evidently aiming to turn themselves into a Beatles Group. On days when it falls to his turn to have a practice session the noise is indescribable.”

Ouch! Not only did The Beatles not get the part, but they also had some serious shade thrown at them by Tolkien. Also, their director of choice wouldn’t even get to direct the Lord of The Rings movies; they would be headed instead by Peter Jackson. Luckily, though, their movie career hasn’t suffered; as the Chicago Tribune discovered, the movie Help! was generally thought to be the second-best Beatles movie (after A Hard Day’s Night) when it came out on August 25, 1965. That year, the Beatles were just beginning to gain fame and recognition in the U.S.

In the appropriately named Help!, Ringo is captured by a religious cult that plans on using him as a human sacrifice. Help! also boasts a Beatles-filled soundtrack, with the songs “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” “You’re Going To Lose That Girl,” and “Help!” probably among their most recognizable pieces from the movie. In another recent anniversary, Inquisitr noted that The Beatles’ catalog rights were purchased by Michael Jackson 30 years ago this August.

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