IMDb > Backbeat (1994)
Backbeat
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Backbeat (1994) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   4,428 votes »
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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:
As a Beatles fan, I found I enjoyed this much more than I expected to See more (27 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)
Louise Samuels ... Existentialist (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
David O'Williams .... props driver
David Williams .... props driver
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
Dave Grohl .... musician: drums
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:
The shooting lasted 6 weeks. It took place in Liverpool in March 1993 and in Hamburg and London in Spring 1993.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 »
Movie Connections:
References ...And God Created Woman (1956)See more »
Soundtrack:
Slow DownSee more »

FAQ

From what did Stuart Sutcliffe die?
What is Backbeat about?
Who is this Edith Piaf whose name keeps popping up during the film?
See more »
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
As a Beatles fan, I found I enjoyed this much more than I expected to, 18 December 2009
Author: mike_elston from London, England

This is a film above all about the triangular relationship between John Lennon, Stuart Sutcliffe, and Astrid Kirchherr (four-sided if you include Astrid's boyfriend Klaus Voormann, five-sided if you include the band John and Stu were members of: the Beatles) -- a film about real events, about love and life and tragedy -- played out to a backdrop of the Beatles' visits to Hamburg and their performances there.

Based primarily on interviews with Stuart's mother and sister and with Astrid Kirchherr, it's been often criticised as a 'crude caricature', for its factual inaccuracies about the Beatles' time in Hamburg, about the musical performances portrayed, for the one-dimensional portrayal of the "minor" characters, including Paul, George, Pete and John's girlfriend Cynthia, and even for the fact that the actors aren't exact doppelgangers for the characters they portray (they're pretty good likenesses, though).

I can accept all these criticisms, but somewhat to my surprise they didn't spoil the film at all for me. If you want detailed accuracy about the Beatles, this is not for you. Read the books. But if you want to see a film which tells a good story well, and which will give you a real feel for the vibes of the time and for the characters it claims to portray, and an insight into one important aspect of the early history of the Beatles, I think you will enjoy this. I thought I wouldn't, but I did. And I will watch it again. And, did I say? it's about the Beatles.

This is not a biopic, nor does it pretend to be, but it does claim to tell the story of Stu and Astrid, and I thought it did that very well. I don't object at all to the use of some artistic licence, such as Astrid's excellent English. Contrary to some other reviewers, I found the portrayal of the quiet, enigmatic Stu by Stephen Dorff quite excellent, a perfect foil to the bitter, sometimes thoughtful, and wholly charismatic John Lennon, portrayed just as well by Ian Hart.

I first heard the Beatles just before their first British record "Love Me Do" became a minor hit in Autumn 1962. This film portrays events mostly more than a year before then, and even longer before their last stint in Hamburg, at the Star-Club in December 1962, the subject of a famous amateur recording. Apart from the Polydor recordings by Bert Kampfaert, we have little to judge objectively what the band sounded like in 1960-61, but judging from the 1962 live recordings, and the comments of those who heard them before they were famous, I'm quite prepared to believe the Beatles sounded then very much like the band used for the soundtrack to this film. OK, the band aren't the Beatles, and some of the details are a bit askew, but the rock-and-roll standards portrayed were all part of the Beatles' act, and are performed much as they performed them. Everyone tells how Stu Sutcliffe often played turning away from the audience, as often seen in the film. It's hardly a realistic portrayal of the Hamburg clubs on the Reeperbahn in the early 1960s, but I've seen worse, and if you have little idea what life was like for the band before 1962, this will not be a bad introduction.

Comparisons with "A Hard Day's Night" are ingenuous: that was a film made by the Beatles early in 1964 after they were famous (in Britain at least); this is a film about the band when they were teenagers, before pretty much anyone knew them outside Liverpool and Hamburg. Not the same at all. And of course, they didn't sound back then like the Beatles' later recordings, or even like they did on their tours of the US and elsewhere. Perhaps the only recording you can really compare is their first album "Please Please Me" (and the live Star-Club recording, if you have it).

It's a film, for goodness' sake. I enjoyed it as one, and I hope you do too. The characters rang true, especially Ian Hart as John Lennon, and the story is well worth telling, and well worth watching. And, did I say? it's about the Beatles.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (27 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Backbeat (1994)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Stuart couldnt play. applejacksoph24
A few little problems... ginger_sling
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 »

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