Across The Universe is a fictional love story set in the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, the struggle for free speech and civil rights, mind exploration and rock and roll. At once gritty, whimsical and highly theatrical, the story moves from high schools and universities in Massachusetts, Princeton and Ohio to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Detroit riots, Vietnam and the dockyards of Liverpool. A combination of live action and animation, the film is paired with many songs by The Beatles that defined the time. Written by
The following items are a list of references to songs by The Beatles:
The title of the movie, and many of the characters are named after various songs: Lucy, Jude, Max (Maxwell) Sadie, Mr. Kite, Dr. Robert, Prudence, JoJo, Rita.
"Helter Skelter" is heard in the pre-title montage, and is also a reference to the scattered method that the scenes are shown.
"Doctor Robert": When Jude, Lucy, and Max are at the party for Doctor Robert (portrayed by Bono) they are seen drinking from a bowl of unknown liquid. This is a reference to the lyric, "Take a drink from his special cup, Doctor Robert."
"Get Back": A voice is heard yelling "Get Back!" when Sadie leaves the stage during "Oh! Darling".
"Strawberry Fields Forever": During the Thanksgiving dinner scene, Lucy's and Max's grandmother remarks that "the cranberry sauce isn't as tangy as last year," referencing the use of the words "cranberry sauce" uttered by John (which was often misheard as "I buried Paul," adding to the myth that Paul was dead.)
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer": At college, Max generally goofs off and causes trouble. This is a reference to the song lyric, "Back in school again/Maxwell plays the fool again." Also, when Max and Jude first meet Sadie, she says they seem harmless, then looks at Max and says, "Then again, you coulda murdered your granny with a hammer." Max is later seen "fixing" a fan with a hammer.
"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da": The name Molly (Jude's Liverpool girlfriend) alludes to Molly in the song.
"The Word": When discussing Dr. Robert's bus Sadie's manager says "Spread the word".
"A Day In The Life": When Jeff Beck's instrumental cover of "A Day In The Life" plays, Jude is reading a newspaper - a reference to the lyric, "I read the news today, oh boy."
"I Want You": The famous Uncle Sam recruitment poster is animated to illustrate the song.
"Martha My Dear": Jude's mother's name is Martha.
"Lovely Rita": Prudence's friend's name is Rita.
"Sexy Sadie": Though the character of Sadie is a reference to Janis Joplin, it is also a reference to this song.
"Get Back": While JoJo's character is a reference to Jimi Hendrix, it is also a reference to "Get Back" (particularly the first line "JoJo was a man who thought he was a loner/But he knew it wouldn't last.")
"Revolution 9": The number of the building where the rooftop concert takes place is #9.Also when Lucy is trapped in the phone booth,and the glass is shattered there is a pattern in the shape of the number 9 in the cracks,
"Hello Goodbye": After Prudence enters through the bathroom window, Jude greets her saying "Hello, hello" which can be seen as a reference to "Hello Goodbye" (which was called Hello Hello by McCartney while he was writing it).
"She Came In Through the Bathroom Window": When Prudence first enters the apartment through the window, Jude comments "She came in through the bathroom window."
"When I'm Sixty-Four": The shipyard employee that gives Jude his paycheck says he thought he'd be doing something different when he was sixty-four.
During the "Come Together" dance number in the New York, one of the dancers holding a briefcase trips during the combination. See more »
Is there anybody going to listen to my story all about the girl who came to stay? She's the kind of girl you want so much, it makes you sorry. Still, you don't regret a single day. Aw, girl. Girl...
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This probably sounds like I hated the film, but I actually loved it.
It has the time line and self-consciously-culture-smart soundtrack of Hair, yet the campy fun and karaoke stylings of Moulin Rouge. Julie Taymor takes this combination and makes it fun, instead of extra cheesy, and it is visually fascinating instead of the obnoxious MTV-video nightmare it could have been.
I cared about the characters - and the cast of 'unknowns' have great star power and voices. Even though I knew exactly what would happen, the journey there was great. The cameos were fun. The lead was sufficiently hot. The soundtrack is stuck in my head as I write this (the new versions, not even the original songs) All corny jokes and references, and lapses in plot are forgiven, because Ms. Taymor manages to take a movie chock full of things that have been done a million times before and makes it as fresh and exciting as if it were all done for the first time. You may know exactly what's going to happen but you never know how. This is the director's movie!
Definitely a movie journey worth taking.
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