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Deleted Scenes
The Sam Ahab School of Transcendental Elocution

This page was originally published on July 9, 2002. This scene is reportedly featured on the Nov. 2007 DVD reissue of "HELP!", but I haven't seen it yet, so this description may not correspond to what actually happened in the scene. Once I've viewed the scene on DVD, I'll make the appropriate changes to this page. It will be interesting to see how accurate this page turned out to be! :-)

I believe this was the longest scene cut from the film; therefore, this description is pretty lengthy. Click on any photo to see a larger version! And remember, if you spot any mistakes or have any information to add, please e-mail me!

Alright, let's begin. If you've seen "HELP!", I'm sure you'll remember the end of the "Hey Be-a-tle!" scene, where the Beatles drive off and Clang and his followers go after them. The film then cuts to the scene with John and Ringo in an elevator. But where were the Beatles going the day they first met Clang? And did Clang ever catch up with them? We never found out . . .

Do me a favor, open the door and let 'em in. Are we there yet?

Until now.

There was a lengthy scene that was meant to be a continuation of the "Hey Be-a-tle" encounter, but was dropped from the final cut of the film. Though footage of this scene has never been released (and most likely no longer exists), I've been able to piece together a summary based on the "Help!" movie novelization by Al Hine, which was based on the original script that included this scene. The photos included on this page have been gathered from several different web sites and some "Help!" promotional material. We may never get to see the original footage of this scene, but here's your chance to catch a glimpse of what you've missed!

The scene opens with the Beatles arriving at the "Sam Ahab School of Trancendental Elocution." They are greeted by Sam Ahab, who is played by actor Frankie Howerd. Notice that the Beatles are all wearing the same clothes from the "Hey Be-a-tle!" scene.

Dig that funky set! Do you think that sign is big enough?
BRIGHT YELLOW! My eyes, my eyes! One and one and one is three.

Sam Ahab is an acting teacher (he prefers the term "trancending") who is giving the Beatles acting lessons. It's impossible to know exactly what his character was supposed to be like, but he is obviously a comical character and seems to be very impatient with the Beatles. Ringo, upset that none of the Beatles believed his tale about the encounter with the fishing rod, tries to tell Sam about it, but Sam keeps interrupting him with talk of "persevering in our transcendence." As Sam instructs the Beatles to "limber and lope," John asks, "Which do you want first, Sam - the limber?"

So, do you come here often? Frankie Howerd has just been told how much he'll be earning for this scene.

So, do you come here often? While Sam is busy with the others, Paul catches the eye of a young woman known only as "Lady Macbeth" and played by actress Wendy Richard (Richard would later go on to play "Miss Brahms" in the BBC sitcom "Are You Being Served?"). Lady Macbeth is also a student of Sam's. She and Paul appear to strike up a conversation until Sam notices and comes between them, ordering Paul to leave her alone so she can continue rehearsing.

Listen, do you want to know a secret? Let me whisper in your ear... No, actually, we're just good friends.
Go ahead, pull my finger! We'd better move on with this scene or it'll be cut for time. ACTING!

As Sam attempts to round up the Beatles for their lesson, "Lady Macbeth" continues her "transcendental" exercises, which apparently involve a lot of screaming! George, irritated by the noise, puts in a set of earplugs that he is carrying. You might be wondering, "Where did the earplugs come from?" Well...remember the earlier scene at the Beatles' flat, where Paul plays the organ while George reads the newspaper? According to the novelization, George puts in earplugs to drown out the noise (from either the organ or the lawnmower, or both). Incidentally, this is why we never see George's reaction to Ringo's "sandwich" encounter he never hears it! And so, George was carrying those same earplugs with him for this scene. When the "Sam Ahab" scene was cut from the film, I assume the previous "earplug scene" was cut out as well, because it was no longer necessary. But those earplugs will become very important in a few minutes!

Sam manages to gather the four Beatles together and asks them to each recite a piece of Shakespeare in turn. Ringo, John, Paul, and George, in that order, recite lines from various Shakespeare plays. According to the novelization, Sam is quite pleased with Ringo, John, and Paul's recitation, while poor George turns in an awful performance. As George speaks his lines, strange music can be heard coming from the fireplace (I assume the music is similar to the "Go to the window" chant).

Everyone in the room falls into a trance except for George, who cannot hear the music due to his earplugs. In fact, George is so involved in his performance that he doesn't even notice what is happening to the others. As he finishes up his lines, Clang, Ahme, and Bhuta crawl through the fireplace and into the room (If you click on the center picture below, you can clearly see George's earplugs).

Santa?!? That's the last time we travel by Floo powder! Wait, we have a hatchet with us. Why didn't we just break down the door?

Clang is pleased to see that the music has worked, until he discovers that George has not fallen into a trance like the others. George, in turn, is surprised to see Clang and the others but assumes they are a part of the acting lesson. Meanwhile, everyone else is swaying around the room, completely oblivious to the new arrivals.

Ahme finds Ringo, who is totally unaware of what is happening. She grabs him by the arm and leads him to a table. Clang ignores George and orders Bhuta to "make the necessary preparations for an immediate vise" to remove the ring from Ringo's finger. George tries to follow the conversation, but since he is still wearing his earplugs, he has no idea of what Clang and the others are saying.

Ahme and Bhuta try to remove Ringo's ring with the vice, but the ring won't budge. And so, they decide to take the next logical step - to chop Ringo's hand off at the wrist! Clang produces a large hatchet and they prepare Ringo's arm for the "surgery."

It's always good to keep a spare nail file handy. Kids, don't try this at home.
Your cuticles are just awful! It'll be on the National Health, won't it?

Although he's still not sure what's going on, George finally realizes that Ringo could be in danger and decides to intervene. He rushes to the table and either pushes or kicks Bhuta away from Ringo before Clang can perform the "surgery." Clang, enraged, hurls the hatchet at George. He misses, and the hatchet lands in a mirror (but somehow, the mirror doesn't break)!

LOOK OUT! I think I saw this on Carson once... That's one strong mirror!

Well, I'm confused. How about you? By this time, the effects of the music are about to wear off, so Clang and Bhuta make a hasty retreat. According to the novelization, Ahme flees with them, but it's possible that she stays behind until the others "wake up" so she can warn them about the ring. According to this photo at least, Ringo might catch a glimpse of her before she goes.

You naughty, naughty boys! Ringo, John, Paul, Sam, and Lady Macbeth all snap out of their trance and have no recollection of what has taken place. Ringo wonders why his finger hurts, and George tries to tell them about the intruders, and how they tried to chop Ringo's hand off. Sam doesn't believe it, and thinks the Beatles are somehow responsible for the mess in his studio (the furniture has been left in disarray). Meanwhile, the Beatles are starting to wonder if there's more to Ringo's ring than meets the eye.

Finally, Sam and the others notice the hatchet embedded in the mirror. Sam is startled, and Lady Macbeth is frightened. According to the novelization, the scene ends with John yanking the hatchet from the mirror, handing it to Lady Macbeth, and saying, "Is this a chopper that you see before you?"

Paul is momentarily stunned by the horrible set design. Are we finished yet? Strike the set...no, not literally!

Impact on other scenes: The decision to remove this scene didn't have much impact on the overall film, but it did have an effect on some of the later scenes:

  • According to the novelization, when the Beatles are at the Indian restaurant, George recognizes Clang just before Ahme warns the boys to "flee!" It doesn't change the scene much, but because George identifies Clang as the "guy who tried to chop your hand off," that may be why Ringo withdrew his hand so quickly. And supposedly, Clang makes the marks on Ringo's arm in the same way he did in the acting class scene.
  • During the "Scotland Yard" scene, have you ever wondered how the Beatles immediately knew to plug up their ears when the "go to the window" chant started? Because they had already fallen under Clang's trance in the acting class scene! So this time around, they knew how to protect themselves (Superintendent Gluck wasn't so lucky, though)!

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