Help! | 1965
The Beatles’ second cinematic outing, this time in glorious colour, is a more surreal, freewheeling affair than the previous semi-documentary, with drummer Ringo Starr unwittingly coming into possession of an ominous sacrificial ring and... well, as if the plot mattered.
The four seemingly-modest terraced houses, behind which the Fab Four inhabit a single luxury suite, are numbers 5, 7, 9 and 11 Ailsa Avenue, west of St Margaret’s Road just over Twickenham Bridge in St Margaret’s, conveniently close to Twickenham Studios, southwest London.
Ringo attempts, unsuccessfully, to have the sacrificial ring removed at classy West End jewellers Asprey’s, 165-169 New Bond Street, W1.
The ‘Rajahama’ Indian restaurant was the long-gone Dolphin Restaurant, now redeveloped as Daylesford Organic Farm Deli, 8 Blandford Street, W1, at Marylebone High Street.
While under the protection of the British Army, the Beatles perform in the middle of a circle of Chieftain tanks at Knighton Down on the B3086 about ten miles north of Salisbury at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain (home, of course, of Stonehenge), Wiltshire.
When the group hides out at ‘Buckingham Palace’, it’s really Cliveden House in Berkshire, three miles northeast of Maidenhead on the B476 Hedsor road. Once home to the Astor family (and the actual site of events recounted in the 1989 movie Scandal), the Cliveden estate is now a National Trust property, and the house itself a luxury hotel.
Back in London, the riverside pub, with the Beethoven-loving tiger in the basement, is the historic City Barge, 27 Strand-on-the-Green, Gunnersbury, W4, east of Kew Bridge by Post Office Alley. The 15th century pub is named for the Lord Mayor’s barge, which used to be moored nearby. For a really surreal experience, visit during high tide when the riverside terrace disappears and the front bar is awash with Thames water.
The Beatles used their clout to get a few more exotic locations written into the script. Ski scenes were filmed on the snowy slopes at Obertauern in Austria, while the sun-drenched beaches are at Nassau and the surroundings of New Providence Island in the Bahamas.