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Backbeat (1994)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  15 April 1994 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 4,425 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 26 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 »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soundtrack does not feature any Lennon-McCartney compositions, presumably for budgetary reasons. However, the film does include many songs covered by the Beatles as part of their well-known Hamburg/Cavern Club repertoire. Among these are "Twist and Shout" (later to appear on their debut album "Please Please Me") and "Long Tall Sally" (later released on an EP of the same name). See more »

Goofs

The train carriage at Hamburg station has a date of 22.2.90 stenciled at the bottom. This will be the date of the last full service, 3 years before filming but 30 years after the action. See more »

Quotes

Astrid: Tell me something, John Lennon. When you are rich and famous, when you are number one, when your name is in lights and everybody wants to be your friend, when somebody asks you, "Do you remember Astrid in Hamburg?" what will you say?
John Lennon: I'll say she was the girl I always wanted. The girl of me dreams, like Brigitte Bardot with better manners. I might have fallen in love with her. But she fell in love with me best friend. And that was the end of that.
Astrid: I love him, John.
[pauses]
Astrid: I do.
John Lennon: Yeah. Don't we ...
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

References A Hard Day's Night (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Road Runner
Written & Composed by Bo Diddley (as Ellas McDaniel)
© 1960 ABC Music Corp New York
By kind permission of Jewel Music Publishing Co Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A long, long time ago, in a country not too far away...
2 April 2006 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

I think that it's especially appropriate that "Backbeat" was released right after the 30th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America: everyone was remembering them, and then a really good movie shows their early days. Specifically, it focuses on when they went to Hamburg and met artsy photographer Astrid Kirchherr. I should identify that this movie is for mature audiences only: aside from the language and sex, it shows how John, Paul, George, Pete, and Stu got addicted to speed so that they could keep playing; as a result, they got little sleep and their eyes got all glassy as they laid awake.

A really effective scene is right after Stu leaves the Beatles. Hoping to devote his life to art, he goes out and gets all drunk. Around this time, East Germany's government erects the Berlin Wall. Watching it on TV, Astrid and Klaus hold hands to be supportive of each other. When Stu sees this, he gets all violent. This scene - possibly more than any other in the movie - shows his mental breakdown.

All in all, a great movie. We also see that they first met Ringo in Hamburg. I'm sure that we'll all be remembering "Backbeat" for years to come. Rock on, lads!


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