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Backbeat (1994)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  15 April 1994 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 4,319 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 26 critic

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

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Title: Backbeat (1994)

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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 ...
...
Kai Wiesinger ...
...
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

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

Goofs

At the end of the film, text describing subsequent events is superimposed over shots of a beach. One paragraph notes that Klaus Voormann played bass on John Lennon's album "Imagine" and designed the Beatles' "Revolver" album cover, but although the former title is placed in quotation marks, the latter is not. See more »

Quotes

John Lennon: We're gonna be big Stu, we're gonna be too big for Liverpool, we're gonna be too big for Hamburg, we're gonna be too big for our own bloody good.
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

Version of Stuart Sutcliffe: The Lost Beatle (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

I Remember You
Written by Johnny Mercer
Composed by Victor Schertzinger
© 1942 Paramount Music Corp/Famous Music Corps
By kind permission of Warner Chappell Music Ltd
See more »

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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