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Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (2008)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  19 June 2009 (UK)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,156 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 54 critic

A music-infused drama about Joe Meek, the flamboyantly gay, tone deaf, songwriter-producer behind the '60s hits "Have I the Right," "Just Like Eddie," "Johnny, Remember Me" and "Telstar."

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. Violet Shenton
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Clem Cattini
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Geoff Goddard
Ralf Little ...
Chas Hodges
Sid Mitchell ...
Patrick Pink
Mathew Baynton ...
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Billy Kuy
Callum Dixon ...
John Leyton
Tom Harper ...
Alan Caddy
Jon Lee ...
Nigel Harman ...
Carl Barât ...
Gene Vincent (as Carl Barat)
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Storyline

In the early 1960s self-taught electronics whizz Joe Meek amazingly produces a string of home made hit singles from his studio in his flat above a leather shop in London. His biggest success is the instrumental 'Telstar' but accusations of plagiarism delay royalties. Joe's mercurial temper causes his artists to forsake him for other labels,in particular his young lover Heinz Burt. Now in debt and after unwisely parting from his chief financier Major Banks,Joe finds himself unable to control his life. Increasingly paranoid,believing he is being bugged by rival record companies and that everybody is out to get him,the last straw comes when landlady Violet tells him she is selling the building in which he lives. Joe had once confiscated a shotgun from Heinz. Now it is dangerously close at hand and about to end the Joe Meek story. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hit after hit... someone's going to get hurt

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 June 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Telstar  »

Box Office

Budget:

£1,250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£22,343 (UK) (19 June 2009)

Gross:

£22,343 (UK) (19 June 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (a few scenes: television scenes and archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Immediately after 304 Holloway Road appears on the screen, a black and white television is seen in a shop window, showing a program called "Harper's W1, The Story of a London Store." This is a reference to the world famous Harrod's Knightsbridge, which is actually located in London SW1. See more »

Goofs

John Peel is shown interviewing Joe Meek for the New Musical Express in 1963. Peel was never a regular journalist for the NME, and was working as a DJ in the southern USA in 1963. Additionally, he only adopted the name Peel when he joined Radio London in 1966. See more »

Crazy Credits

Stageplay first performed by the New Vic Workshop See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wright Stuff: Episode #17.110 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Night of the Vampire
Composed by Gary LePort
Published by Ivy Music Ltd
Performed by The Moontrekkers
Courtesy of Rollercoaster Records Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fame, fortune and it all goes horribly wrong
29 October 2008 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Saw this last night at the LFF, and while it does betray its stagey origins from time to time, there is much to enjoy in this biopic of Joe Meek, legendary music producer and nutcase. The film doesn't shy away from the murkier aspects of this mercurial character's life - the drugs, the rent boys, the cottaging, the verbal and physical abuse meted out to all and sundry - but Meek does emerge as something of a sympathetic character. I guess that's why so many people put up with him - there must have been something charming about him.

Good performances - including a pointless cameo from Kevin Spacey as Meek's financial backer, the appropriately named Major Banks. Standouts include the young actors playing Heinz and Patrick, the latter being a general factotum-cum-boyfriend who is one of the few people loyal to the last.

Nick Moran should be commended for bringing this quirky, sometime shocking story to the screen - whether it will find an audience beyond 60s music fans or those with a morbid curiosity for stories of pop scandals will remain to be seen.

Incidentally, I live in Islington and walked home past 304 Holloway Road, where almost the whole film takes place. It did send shivers down my spine.


31 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Telstar and the trouble with British cinema. NutNut
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