MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 869 this week

Backbeat (1994)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  15 April 1994 (USA)
6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 4,602 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 21 critic

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

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 20 Apr 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 14 Apr 2014
 
a list of 23 titles
created 10 Aug 2014
 
a list of 28 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Backbeat" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Backbeat (1994)

Backbeat (1994) on IMDb 6.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Backbeat.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A fictionalized account of what may have happened when John Lennon and Brian Epstein went on holiday together to Spain in 1963.

Director: Christopher Munch
Stars: David Angus, Ian Hart, Stephanie Pack
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An account of The Beatles during the Hamburg years, their signing with Brian Epstein and their inevitable rise during the early sixties.

Director: Richard Marquand
Stars: Stephen MacKenna, Rod Culbertson, John Altman
Two of Us (TV Movie 2000)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

John Lennon and Paul McCartney have a chat about their lives, and if "The Beatles" will ever reunite. The movie takes place in 1976.

Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Stars: Aidan Quinn, Jared Harris, Ric Reid
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Iain Softley
Stars: Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Alex Jennings
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A young girl suffering from amnesia after surviving a house fire that takes her childhood friend's life, begins a tormented road to recovery.

Director: Iain Softley
Stars: Tuppence Middleton, Aneurin Barnard, Frances de la Tour
The Compleat Beatles (Video 1982)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A documented account of the life and career of the Fab Four, from their early years in Liverpool to their breakup, featuring rare interview and concert footage.

Director: Patrick Montgomery
Stars: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Adapted from Dostoevsky's novella, Henry Czerny plays the narrator, Underground Man. Filled with self-hatred, he keeps a video diary where he discusses his own shortcomings and what he ... See full summary »

Director: Gary Walkow
Stars: Henry Czerny, Seth Green, Sheryl Lee
Nowhere Boy (2009)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anne-Marie Duff
Angel's Dance (1999)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young hitman is asked to prove himself by killing an innocent woman.

Director: David L. Corley
Stars: James Belushi, Sheryl Lee, Kyle Chandler
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A film about the early life of the rock musician and his burgeoning career as a member of the Beatles.

Director: David Carson
Stars: Philip McQuillan, Daniel McGowen, Mark Rice-Oxley
The Linda McCartney Story (TV Movie 2000)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  
Director: Armand Mastroianni
Stars: Elizabeth Mitchell, Gary Bakewell, David Lewis
Curve I (2015)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young woman becomes trapped in her car after a hitchhiker causes her to have an automobile accident.

Director: Iain Softley
Stars: Julianne Hough, Teddy Sears, Madalyn Horcher
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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

John Lennon: You don't say much, do you?
Pete Best: Drummers don't talk. You must have noticed that. Just might as well be deaf and dumb, drummers. When was the last time you heard a drummer say anything?
[John looks at Pete, then turns away]
Pete Best: See? You know why, don't you? I'll tell you why. 'Cause nobody ever fuckin' listens.
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 ...And God Created Woman (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

My Bonnie
Traditional
Performed by Tony Sheridan
Recording courtesy of Polydor (P) 1962
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Beatle fan's dream come true.
16 May 1999 | by (Marietta, GA, USA) – See all my reviews

There's no doubt in my mind that 'Backbeat' is the best movie ever made about the Beatles. Dare I utter such blasphemy-- it may even be better than 'A Hard Day's Night!'

Director Iain Softley (his first film!) and his co-writers chose a period and a time that have always held a lot of romance for the group's fans, their trial-by-fire apprenticeship in the seedy nightclubs of Hamburg, Germany c. 1960. This was the crucible in which the band was transformed from noisy amateurs to professionals ready to take on- and change- the world. The focus is on two young friends from Liverpool, John Lennon (Ian Hart) and Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff). (As a critic once noted, dead men don't file lawsuits.) Stuart is a sensitive lad with a great talent for painting. John is a cynic with a very large chip on his shoulder. He may be sensitive and intellectual, too, but he'd rather die than admit that to anyone. His artistic passion is expressed in the rock & roll music he's driven to play. Stu likes the image more than the music, so he buys a bass guitar, turns his back on a promising art career and joins the band. The fact that he can barely play his instrument is not lost on bandmate Paul McCartney (Gary Bakewell.)

Playing a backbreaking schedule in Hamburg they meet up with two young Germans who become important in their lives- Klaus Voorman (Kai Wiesinger) and especially Astrid Kirchherr (Sheryl Lee), two "exi's", sort of latter-day beatniks or early hippies. Stu and Astrid fall in love and John is both irritated and fascinated by her. Soon Stu has to choose between his love for Astrid and painting and his deep emotional ties to John and the band.

The actors portraying the most well-known characters (Hart, Bakewell and Chris O'Neill as George Harrison) all bear striking resemblances to their look in the early '60's. But this movie not only gets the style right, but the substance as well. Paul McCartney has said it was full of inaccuracies (like John singing "Long Tall Sally," always Paul's number) but as an avid Beatles fan since 1964 my view is that it's a very honest portrayal. Ian Hart shines in his evocation of the complicated personality and tortured soul of John Lennon. He practically looks like a twin of John's son Julian. Sheryl Lee also stands out as the super-cool Astrid in a restrained but powerful performance. The musical performances are fine, too, done by a band including Mike Mills of R.E.M. No Beatle originals are used in the movie but that's OK because at the time they were mostly playing powerful cover versions of American rock and soul. In fact the "B word" is not seen or uttered except once, just before the film's conclusion.

This movie is a triumph for all involved and even though it's not "official" it will only add to the great legacy left by the Beatles.


21 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A few little problems... ginger_sling
Stuart Sutcliffe's accent zingzangspillip
Stuart Sutcliffe Frida_Eriksson87
George applescruffy
Stuart couldnt play. applejacksoph24
Preludin, drugs Hellokiddo
Discuss Backbeat (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?