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.
Kristin Scott Thomas,
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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
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 »
There are at least one movie posters visible, that aren't from that period. "Svezia, inferno e paradiso" (aka Sweden: Heaven and Hell) movie released in 1968, and it can seen in movie theatre scene (At 01:05). See more »
[a scuffle breaks out on the floor of the Kaiser Keller while the Beatles are playing. One of the patrons pulls a switchblade. John jumps off the stage and confronts him]
Listen, you! If you wanna fight someone, fight me! If you don't wanna fight, then listen to the fucking band. If you don't want to listen to the fucking band, fuck off and choke to death. Do you understand me? Do you get me meaning, mate?
I can't fight you. You are wearing a dress.
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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 won't attempt to cover the detail that so many others have simply to add. Sheryl plays Astrid very well, she implies the flavour of those early days of popular music very much in the raw. Not musically perfect or electronically sanitised but real thumping music for kids which they (and I was of that time albeit a little younger than the characters) loved. Remember there had been nothing like it before. Even Elvis's influence lacked the raw dark, smoky, sweaty feel of Hamburg, the Cavern Club and many venues that have disappeared from history. Astrid's art work through pictures captured the early feel of the Beatles and their lives/times like no other. When you look at those photos you can almost touch that slightly dangerous era.
The various films about the Beatles early years all contribute varying flavours of that time without individually capturing the whole and I would recommend Beatles/film buffs to look up and watch all versions.
Most of all the individuals.John was THE leader. Paul the workaholic perfectionist. George dedicated to improving his art while not taking any of it too seriously. Stuart doing his best for his friend John but inevitably his destiny (sadly abbreviated) was art. Pete was only transitional and Ringo who had already performed with them became an important factor. Tony Sheridan and others in Hamburg made important contributions and Brian Epstien was the final and very important cog.
Enjoy all of the films.
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