An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress is attracted to her own lover and is dying, she sees a chance to have both the privileged life she cannot give up and the lover she cannot live without.
Helena Bonham Carter,
A pre-fame Beatles head for the seedy clubs of Hamburg in search of success. The band meet up with a group of trendy German beatniks, one of whom (Astrid Kircherr) bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe falls in love with. Whilst best friend John Lennon can only watch, Sutcliffe has to choose between rock 'n roll and a new life in Germany... Written by
During the montage of the Beatles performing at the club, there is inter-cutting of a stripper performing on the stage. The Beatles often alternated their performances with other bands and strippers. It has been stated in many accounts of the Beatles' days in Hamburg that not only were there female strippers, but there were transvestite strippers as well. See more »
A scene dated March 1961 has George being wished a happy 18th birthday. George's actual birthday was in February (as was even mentioned earlier in the film.) See more »
[the Beatles are being deported from Germany after it is discovered that George is underage. The police are escorting them to the train]
[to one of the police officers]
You wouldn't pull me leg. It really is the showers you're taking us to, isn't it, Mr. Goebels?
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At the very end of the end titles, long after all the other music credits have run, one last music credit appears on the otherwise blank screen: "TIME TO GO HOME, Written by Maria Bird, Published by Minder Music." See more »
I grew up on the Beatles' music and was therefore delighted to see this captivating biopic about their early days in Hamburg, with Stuart Sutcliffe (bass) and Pete Best (drums) still onboard, in the days even before they fashioned their hair into mopheads and long before Lennon told his aristocratic audience to rattle their jewels. The plot focuses on Stuart Sutcliffe and his relationship with John Lennon. In a way, the movie shows us the Beatles as most of us do NOT know them -- the setting is neither London nor NYC (Liverpool plays a relatively minor role), they're not being chased by hordes of screaming teenagers, their drugs are still beer and tabs (and some amphetamines); most of all, they're still a rock 'n' roll band trying to break through.
That's actually one of the movie's biggest assets: it manages to convincingly show the group as a kickass rock band, although they're playing covers of US-American hits for the most part. The actors playing Lennon, Harrison and McCartney are surprisingly convincing.
Some fans have criticised the movie for being inaccurate, because, for example, John's later wife Cynthia is shown as a homely girl with a scarf, whereas she stated that she didn't like wearing scarfs. And I'd say it's true that Stephen Dorff's portrayal of Sutcliffe is too aggressive, histrionic, over the top (in scene, for example, he needlessly attacks the Klaus Voormann character in a way that would probably get him an extended stretch for attempted manslaughter in the real world). But as long as you keep in mind that this is not a documentary, the average non-stickler fan should be more than happy with this fare.
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