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Backbeat (1994)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  15 April 1994 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 4,600 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 21 critic

A dramatization of the Hamburg, Germany phase of the Beatles' early history.

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Title: Backbeat (1994)

Backbeat (1994) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Gary Bakewell ...
Chris O'Neill ...
...
...
...
Marcelle Duprey ...
Singer
John White ...
Sailor 1
Bernard Merrick ...
Sailor 2
Nicholas Tennant ...
Sailor 3
Finola Geraghty ...
Model
Rob Spendlove ...
Arthur Ballard
Charlie Caine ...
Lord Woodbine
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Storyline

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 Douglas Baptie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

5 guys, 4 legends, 3 lovers, 2 friends, 1 band. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, and for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

15 April 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A kezdetek  »

Box Office

Gross:

£1,133,831 (UK) (15 April 1994)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the paintings Stu makes in the film are reproductions of actual paintings by Stuart Sutcliffe. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

John Lennon: Green tea, anyone?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Features Les Enfants Terribles (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Bright Lights Big City
Written, Composed & Performed by Jimmy Reed
By kind permission of Tristar Music Ltd
Recording courtesy of Charly Records Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Eight Days A Week
6 August 2010 | by (Yurp) – See all my reviews

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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