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Backbeat (1994) Poster

(1994)

Trivia

When Klaus Voormann introduces himself to the Beatles, he mentions that he's an artist and lays a stack of album covers on the bar. Voorman would later go on to create the covers for The Beatles albums "Revolver" and "The Beatles Anthology" (One large painting cut into thirds for the three volumes).
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"My Bonnie" as heard performed in studio is the original Tony Sheridan version with The Beatles backing him.
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Frieda Kelly, who plays George's mother, was a secretary of the Beatles' Fan Club in its earliest days. She even gets a mention on the Beatles' 1963 Christmas message...from George.
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Some of the paintings Stu makes in the film are reproductions of actual paintings by Stuart Sutcliffe.
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According to director Iain Softley, he knew that Stephen Dorff and Sheryl Lee would be perfect for their roles as soon as he met them.
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As seen in the movie, The Beatles are given "uppers" pills so they can keep performing when they're getting tired. Also, as seen in the shot after John accepts the pills for the first time, the Beatles are performing "Long Tall Sally" like crazed maniacs with eyes bulging and sweating profusely. The reason for this is that the uppers were actually prescription strength speed pills. According to all of the Beatles in various interviews (most prominently in the "Beatles Anthology" film and book), the band was forced to perform up to 8 hours a night, far and away more than a band can possibly play given the normalcy of fatigue that sets in from singing and playing. Whenever they grew tired, the bartenders or the waitresses would often give the Beatles (and other performers) the uppers to keep them going. Because of this, and their horrible living conditions in the Kaiserkeller Club's back room, the Beatles were often, sweaty, smelly, pale, and shockingly thin (speed pills back then doubled for diet pills) because they rarely bathed, hardly ever washed their clothes, or more importantly, ate healthy meals. However, after Stuart Sutcliffe began dating Astrid Kirchherr, she would feed the band and wash their clothes and allow them access to her bathroom for bathing. All of the Beatles have said that Astrid, more or less, kept them alive and healthy.
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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.
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Ian Hart was cast a full year before production started. This was because director Iain Softley had seen his performance as John Lennon in "The Hours and the Times".
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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).
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The shooting lasted 6 weeks. It took place in Liverpool in March 1993 and in Hamburg and London in Spring 1993.
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1990s punk-rock musicians and techniques were used to create the film's soundtrack, instead of the precise styles of the period, to better convey the way the music felt to the early Beatles audiences; "it was the punk of its day".
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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.
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Appeared on Entertainment Weekly's list of The 50 Best Movies You've Never Seen in the Jul 16, 2012 issue.
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In his interview for the Beatles Anthology book, Paul McCartney states that his only objection to the film was that John Lennon is portrayed singing "Long Tall Sally" when that was really his signature song. Paul even sings the song for the single release with "I Feel Fine".
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During the montage of the Beatles performing at the club, there is inter-cutting of a stripper performing on the stage. The Beatles often alternated their performances with other bands and strippers. It has been stated in many accounts of the Beatles' days in Hamburg that not only were there female strippers, but there were transvestite strippers as well.
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The only appearance of Ringo Starr in the film, laying sick on Stuart's bed, is not the only encounter that the Beatles had with the man who would eventually become their drummer. In reality, they had known Ringo back in Liverpool and he was apart of the Beatles' chief rivals Rory Storm & The Hurricanes (which many have said was a superior band to the Beatles at the time). They even hung out with Ringo in Hamburg and he sat in on jam sessions late at night when the club was nearly empty. Their time spent together in Hamburg would actually start the ball rolling on Ringo replacing Pete Best as the drummer.
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In the film, it is portrayed that the Beatles were deported because George Harrison was caught working in nightclubs despite being underage, in violation of his work visa. In reality, while George was deported for that reason, Paul McCartney and Pete Best were deported for committing arson when they pinned a condom on the wall of the Kaiserkeller Club and set it on fire as a joke. John Lennon was the only one who was not deported (besides Stuart Sutcliffe who had already left the band and was living with Astrid). Technically, John could have stayed behind but according to him in various interviews, he accompanied the others back to England because, in his words: "They were my friends and my band mates. What the fuck else could I do?"
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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