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Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (2008)

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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."


1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Meek
Major Wilfred Banks
Mrs. Violet Shenton
Heinz Burt
Clem Cattini
Geoff Goddard
Chas Hodges
Sid Mitchell ...
Patrick Pink
Ritchie Blackmore
Billy Kuy
Callum Dixon ...
John Leyton
Alan Caddy
Jon Lee ...
Billy Fury
Nigel Harman ...
Jess Conrad
Gene Vincent (as Carl Barat)


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


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


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 June 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Telstar  »


Box Office


£1,250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£22,343 (United Kingdom), 21 June 2009, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The real Patrick Pink plays a stagehand, under the pseudonym "Robbie Duke". Joe Meek used the name "Robert Duke" for some of his compositions. See more »


The film is quite clearly set in 1963 but the registration plate of the black van in which the group are touring shows the suffix "D" which was issued in the year 1966. See more »

Crazy Credits

Stageplay first performed by the New Vic Workshop See more »


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


Dreams Do Come True
Composed by Joe Meek
Copyright of The Joe Meek Estate
Performed by JJ Feild (as JJ Field) and The Moranoraks
Courtesy of Aspiration Films Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

The Best British Film in Years
25 November 2008 | by See all my reviews

To be honest I only popped into see this at the LFF screening because it had Kevin Spacey in it and that bloke from Gavin and Stacey. I had no idea who Joe Meek was and couldn't sing one of his songs if you paid me. My expectations were low but I thought what the hell and settled into my seat. The first thing that struck me was the style of the piece, Nick Moran has captured the era beautifully, it looks incredible. The performances, to a man, are wonderfully heightened and there is an incredible energy to the piece. I laughed a lot and totally bought into the madness of the Holloway Road studio and its inhabitants. The second half of the film punches you right in the gut. Meeks descent from manic,comedic,volatile, music genius, to heart broken, paranoid, physco is painfully moving. Con O'Neill is amazing, it's one of those performances that just haunts you. Staying with you long after the credits role. I sat in the cinema with the rest of the spellbound audience and watched gobsmaked as Morans film launched into its final heart wrenching act. This is a British film to be proud of. Unlike anything we have seen for many, many years. A truly remarkable debut from Moran. Great stuff.

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