6.7/10
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Backbeat (1994)

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

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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:
...
...
...
...
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:

$2,392,599 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Dorff was the only actor of the group who could actually play his instrument (he's a professional musician in real life). Ironically, his character, Stuart Sutcliffe, could not play his instrument, which is one of the chief reasons the real Paul McCartney later cited as to why he wanted Stuart out of the band. 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: I had a word with Van Gogh last night. He said if he could do it all again he'd be down here shaking his bottom to "Blue Suede Shoes." I gave him your regards.
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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 Eddie and the Cruisers (1983) 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 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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