According to interviews conducted with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Starr for The Beatles Anthology, director Richard Lester was given a larger budget for this film than he had for A Hard Day's Night thanks to the commercial success of the latter. Thus, this feature film was in colour and was shot on several exotic foreign locations.
"Help!" was set in London, Salisbury Plain, the Austrian Alps, Providence Island in the Bahamas and Twickenham Film Studios. Ringo Starr commented in The Beatles Anthology that they were in the Bahamas for the hot weather scenes, and therefore had to wear light clothing even though it was rather cold.
The Beatles did not particularly enjoy the filming of the movie, nor were they particularly pleased with the end product. Lennon said in 1970 that they felt like extras in their own movie.
"The movie was out of our control. With A Hard Day's Night, we had a lot of input, and it was semi-realistic. But with Help!, Dick Lester didn't tell us what it was all about. I realize, looking back, how advanced it was. It was a precursor for the Batman 'Pow! Wow!' on TV -- that kind of stuff. But he never explained it to us. Partly, maybe, because we hadn't spent a lot of time together between A Hard Day's Night and Help!, and partly because we were smoking marijuana for breakfast during that period. Nobody could communicate with us, it was all glazed eyes and giggling all the time. In our own world. It's like doing nothing most of the time, but still having to rise at 7AM, so we became bored." ”
—John Lennon on filming Help!
A contributing factor was exhaustion atrributable to their very busy schedule of writing, recording and touring. Afterwards they were hesitant to begin another film project, and indeed Help! was their last full-length scripted theatrical film. Their obligation for a third film to United Artists was met by the 1970 documentary film Let It Be. The 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine did not meet contractual obligations because it did not star the Beatles themselves, and their only live appearance was featured for less than two minutes at the film's conclusion.
Critical opinion at the time of release was positive, but the film has not achieved a level of acclaim comparable to that for A Hard Day's Night.