Thursday, May 6, 2010

Help! Me Understand the References

As I was merrily tripping my way along the information super-highway, I happened to find a very useful and well-hidden web site containing a catalog of "Britishisms!" in the movies Help! and A Hard Day's Night.  

When I was younger than today, I might have seen this site and looked the other way, but as it stands, I'm passing it along to you, my sweet lovers and friends:

Here were a few of my favorites from the movie Help!:

* Ringo says, "I thought she was a sandwich, 'till she went spare on me hand."  The term "spare" is slang for "crazy."

* After being yanked out of bed during a failed attempt to steal his ring, Ringo crawls over to John and accuses him of "messin' about with me in my kip."  A "kip" is a bed.

* When Ringo and John are walking down the street to "post a letter," they are reciting poetry back and forth: "I sat belonely down a tree // humbled fat and small // A little lady sing to me // I couldn't see at all."  The poem is called "I Sat Belonely", and is one of John's poems, found in his book In His Own Write.

* When the recording engineer calls down, "Boys, are you buzzing?", John quips back, "No thanks, I brought the car."  It's a buzzing/bussing pun; "bussing" meant taking the bus.

* Foot (Victor Spinetti's mad scientist character) complains at one point, "It's the brain drain ... his brain's draining."  Apparently the "Brain Drain" was a problem in Britain at the time; British scientists were migrating to other countries in order to find better opportunities, so the best "brains" in Britain were "draining" off.

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