Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 8+
Madcap, nonsensical romp with the Beatles.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is replete with playful fighting and slapstick violence, including some "don't try this at home" moments, like when George clings to the roof of a speeding car. There's more than a little bit of insensitive racial/religious stereotyping in the villains, a bunch of (mostly Anglo) actors playing robed cult fanatics from India, but just about all the characters are cartoon caricatures, including the Beatles themselves.
- Families can talk about the appeal of the Beatles as characters, then and now. Do you think this film nails it just as well as A Hard Day's Night or other Beatles features and documentaries? Do you think Help! has stood the test of time? In its daft style-over-substance plot and imagery, does Help! seem like the ancestor of the MTV music video?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The Beatles are thoroughly laid-back and whimsical about their predicament, and always help out their mates. The cult members are politically incorrect racial stereotypes of Indians and Hindus, but most of the Anglo characters are exaggerated British types, too. The leading lady is a heroic rescuer-figure.
What to watch for
Violence and scariness: Lots and lots of playful roughhouse-fighting, even escalating up to combat with tanks. Ringo (and others) are threatened continually with human sacrifice via a nasty Bowie knife, yet no blood is shed.
Sex: One girl seen topless from the rear getting bathed. One background belly dancer.
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Products and tourist destinations, many from yesteryear. Of course, the Beatles' music itself is a product.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Brief verbal reference to "happiness pills." Of course, parts of the movie are borderline "trippy."