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Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (2008)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  19 June 2009 (UK)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,041 users  
Reviews: 21 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:
...
...
...
Mrs. Violet Shenton
...
...
Clem Cattini
...
Geoff Goddard
Ralf Little ...
Chas Hodges
Sid Mitchell ...
Patrick Pink
Mathew Baynton ...
...
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

Plot Keywords:

landlady | gay | shotgun | 1960s | flashback | See more »

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

Ralf Little plays the part of musician Chas Hodges, whilst Chas Hodges himself appears in the part of Mr. Brolin. 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

Developed in association with Mikast Movies Ltd See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Swingin' Low
Trad. Arr: Peter Raymond
Published by Ivy Music Ltd
Performed by The Moranoraks
Courtesy of Aspiration Films Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stellar Performance from Con O'Neil
1 December 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

British films made by people like Richard Curtis (The Boat that Rocked et al) tend to look at the swinging 60's of London with heavily rose tinted spectacles. All pimms, waistcoats, flower power and crazy shenanigans. All very well but not much to do with reality - I thought Austin Powers would have killed that off in the 90's....which is why Nick Moran's directorial debut is such a breath of fresh air.

For those that don't know the Joe Meek at the centre of this film - control freak, gay in the wrong decade, tone deaf drug addicted musical pioneer - get ready for a roller-coaster of a ride. Without wishing to spoil the arc of the story, this is a classic tale of a man with a vision breaking new ground...with disastrous consequences.

Con O'Neil dominates this film with a superb manic performance which captures the claustrophobic and chaotic feel of the centre of Joe's universe, his recording studio above a handbag shop in central London in the early 60's. Ably supported by a host of good actors - in particular Kevin Spacey, Pam Ferris, and (even) James Cordon are all spot on. What looks like a cod-60's Curtis-esquire disaster for the first 20 minutes heads somewhere altogether darker once the action cranks up as Joe starts to get some no.1 hits in the charts.

A must watch cautionary tale about fame, love, jealously, paranoia and music, this is a fine carachter piece with some excellent nuanced comedy amidst the darker elements, it's a really well executed debut from Mr Moran...enjoy.


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