IMDb > Backbeat (1994)
Backbeat
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Backbeat (1994) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 35 | slideshow) Videos
Backbeat -- A dramatization of the Hamburg, Germany phase of the Beatles' early history.

Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   4,343 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Contact:
View company contact information for Backbeat on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 April 1994 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
He Had To Choose Between His Best Friend... The Woman He Loved... And The Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band In the World. See more »
Plot:
A dramatization of the Hamburg, Germany phase of the Beatles' early history. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Beatle fan's dream come true. See more (26 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sheryl Lee ... Astrid Kirchherr

Stephen Dorff ... Stuart Sutcliffe

Ian Hart ... John Lennon
Gary Bakewell ... Paul McCartney
Chris O'Neill ... George Harrison

Scot Williams ... Pete Best
Kai Wiesinger ... Klaus Voormann

Jennifer Ehle ... Cynthia Powell
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

Freda Kelly ... Mrs. Harrison
Paul Humpoletz ... Bruno
Christiana Uriarte ... Groupie
Abigail Wrapson ... Groupie

Galit Hershkovitz ... Groupie
Gertan Klauber ... Pimp
Stephan Grothgar ... Barman
Lynn Lowton ... Hooker
Manuel Harlan ... Johannes
Britta Gartner ... Exis
Dirk Winkler ... Exis
Wolf Kahler ... Bert Kaempfert

James Doherty ... Tony Sheridan
Paul Duckworth ... Ringo Starr
Joerg Stadler ... Policeman (as Joerg Stabler)
Alexei Jawdokimov ... Napoleon
Albert Welling ... Doctor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Zacharee Lee ... Photographic model (uncredited)

Directed by
Iain Softley 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Iain Softley 
Michael Thomas 
Stephen Ward 

Produced by
Paul Cowan .... line producer
Sarah Curtis .... co-producer
Finola Dwyer .... producer
Hanno Huth .... executive producer
Nik Powell .... executive producer
Stephen M. Williams .... co-producer
Stephen Woolley .... producer
 
Original Music by
Don Was 
 
Cinematography by
Ian Wilson 
 
Film Editing by
Martin Walsh 
 
Casting by
Dianne Crittenden 
John Hubbard 
Ros Hubbard 
 
Production Design by
Joseph Bennett 
 
Art Direction by
Michael Carlin 
Josef Plagge 
 
Set Decoration by
Barbara Herman-Skelding 
 
Costume Design by
Sheena Napier 
 
Makeup Department
Richard Glass .... contact lens optician
Pat Hay .... makeup artist
Stephen Rose .... hair stylist
 
Production Management
Sarah Lucraft .... production manager: Hamburg
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Gray .... third assistant director: Hamburg
Jonathan Karlsen .... crowd assistant director (as Jon Karlsen)
Cliff Lanning .... second assistant director
Josh Robertson .... third assistant director
Mary Soan .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
David Bowes .... art department assistant
Gordon Fitzgerald .... property master
Andrew Garnett .... scenic artist
Josh Jones .... carpenter
Bill Stallion .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Nainita Desai .... assistant sound editor
Peter Elliott .... adr editor
Glenn Freemantle .... supervising sound editor
Dominic Lester .... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Nick Lowe .... dialogue editor
Chris Munro .... sound mixer
Chris Munro .... sound recordist
Robin O'Donoghue .... sound re-recording mixer
Steve Spencer .... foley artist
Steve Spencer .... foley editor
 
Special Effects by
Tim Baxter .... optical effects
 
Visual Effects by
Ray Short .... titles and opticals
Simon Dowling .... main title designer (uncredited)
Tony Willis .... effects cameraman (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Steve Griffin .... stunts
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Alan Almond .... camera operator: second unit
Kenny Byrne .... focus puller
Pete Cavaciuti .... steadicam operator
Norman Smith .... gaffer
Mark Tillie .... still photographer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Annie Crawford .... costume supervisor
 
Editorial Department
David Barrett .... assistant editor
Jim Heffernan .... negative cutter
Daryl Jordan .... first assistant editor
Scott Klein .... master colorist
 
Music Department
Terence Blanchard .... musician
David Campbell .... composer: additional music (as David Richard Campbell)
David Campbell .... conductor: strings
David Campbell .... orchestrator: strings
Greg Dulli .... singing voice: "John Lennon"
Don Fleming .... musician: guitar and vocals
David Grohl .... musician: drums (as Dave Grohl)
Bob Last .... music supervisor
Mike Mills .... musician: bass and vocals
Thurston Moore .... musician: guitar
David Pirner .... singing voice: "Paul McCartney"
Eric Reed .... musician
 
Transportation Department
Dean Ward .... transportation coordinator
 
Other crew
Jeff Bowen .... location manager
Catherine Charlton .... dialect coach: UK and Germany
Diana Dill .... script supervisor
Simon Downes .... floor runner
Polly Duval .... assistant to producer
Andrew Jack .... dialect coach
Peter Ogunsalu .... personal assistant: Stephen Dorff
Ben Rimmer .... location manager
Christopher Simon .... assistant accountant
Graham Smith .... unit publicist
Fran Triefus .... production coordinator
Will Tyler .... production accountant
Chris Wheeldon .... supervising location manager uk
Julie Adams .... dialect coach (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Eddy Joseph .... special thanks
Astrid Kirchherr .... special thanks
Ulf Krüger .... special thanks
Michael Kuhn .... special thanks
Aline Perry .... special thanks
Russell Schwartz .... special thanks
Pauline Sutcliffe .... special thanks
Stewart Till .... special thanks
Klaus Voormann .... special thanks
Mark Wolfe .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for strong language, and for sexuality
Runtime:
100 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In the film, Stephen Dorff as Sutcliffe played a Hofner President Bass with chrome humbucker pick-ups. In real life, Stuart Sutcliffe played one with wood single coil pick-ups.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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:
Paul McCartney:[singing after John has just belted out a drunken rant] Time to go home, time to go home, Andy and Teddy are waving goodnight!See more »
Soundtrack:
C'était un jour de fêteSee more »

FAQ

Is the movie based on any source material?
How does the movie end?
Are their accents real?
See more »
20 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
A Beatle fan's dream come true., 16 May 1999
Author: Hermit C-2 from Marietta, GA, USA

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (26 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Backbeat (1994)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
A few little problems... ginger_sling
Stuart couldnt play. applejacksoph24
Try watching this and 'A Hard Days Night' back to back... nlagoon
Stuart Sutcliffe Frida_Eriksson87
Preludin, drugs Hellokiddo
Henry Rollins Special Thanks? it7276
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Nowhere Boy Stuart Sutcliffe: The Lost Beatle Birth of the Beatles Across the Universe Lennon Naked
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Biography section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.