6.5/10
1,314
28 user 55 critic

Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (2008)

Trailer
1:44 | Trailer

Watch Now

$0.00 (SD) with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
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."

Director:

Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Inseparable (2011)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A troubled young man, Li faces pressure at work and problems at home with his moody wife. Chuck, rescues Li from the brink of despair and becomes an unlikely mentor. But who is Chuck really?

Director: Dayyan Eng
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Daniel Wu, Beibi Gong
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A biography of Ian Dury, who was stricken with polio at a young age and defied expectations by becoming one of the founders of the punk-rock scene in Britain in the 1970s.

Director: Mat Whitecross
Stars: Andy Serkis, Tom Hughes, Clifford Samuel
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After 8 years in prison, inventor Robert Axle struggles to win over his estranged family and catch up on current technology as he works to once again become the king of the infomercial.

Director: Trent Cooper
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Camilla Belle, Heather Graham
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Leonardo Da Vinci and his muse the Mona Lisa must stand up to the interrogation of their worth in our modern world.

Director: Hamish Jenkinson
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Elliot Cowan, Thandie Newton
Casino Jack (2010)
Biography | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A hot shot Washington DC lobbyist and his protégé go down hard as their schemes to peddle influence lead to corruption and murder.

Director: George Hickenlooper
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, Jon Lovitz
Edison (2005)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Upon discovering a den of corrupt policemen, a fresh-faced journalist makes a shaky allies in a jaded reporter and investigator for a powerful district attorney.

Director: David J. Burke
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Justin Timberlake
Shrink (2009)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Unable to cope with a recent personal tragedy, LA's top celebrity shrink turns into a pothead with no concern for his appearance and a creeping sense of his inability to help his patients.

Director: Jonas Pate
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Mark Webber, Keke Palmer
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Brilliant, flamboyant master criminal Michael Lynch is more interested in his image and his posterity than the actual profit from his ill-gotten gains.

Director: Thaddeus O'Sullivan
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Linda Fiorentino, Peter Mullan
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A swooning study of "Mack the Knife" singer Bobby Darin (Spacey) specifically, and his relationship with his wife Sandra Dee (Bosworth).

Director: Kevin Spacey
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, John Goodman
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two veteran salesmen dissect a sales pitch to a particular client, through their young protégé.

Director: John Swanbeck
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, Peter Facinelli
Leaving I (2009)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Suzanne is a well to do married woman and mother in the south of France. Her idle bourgeois lifestyle gets her down and she decides to go back to work as a physiotherapist. Her husband ... See full summary »

Director: Catherine Corsini
Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Sergi López, Yvan Attal
The Applicant (2008)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

After receiving one too many rejection letters, The Applicant takes matters into his own hands.

Director: John Schwab
Stars: Martin Scorer, Simon Jermond, Samantha Coughlan
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

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)
 »

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

There are several references to The Beatles throughout the film. Much of the original score for this film was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, which was the music recording studio where the Beatles recorded almost all of their singles and albums from 1962 to 1970, roughly corresponding to the time period of the film, 1961 to 1967. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the film where Geoff Goddard first enters the Shenton's shop, the film is reversed. The shop name on the glass and the "Open/Closed" sign are back to front, and the lock, handle and bell are on opposite sides compared with the shot that follows. The first shot of Geoff Goddard entering the shop is shown in a round mirror. The frame can clearly be seen with the shop background behind it. See more »

Crazy Credits

All tracks used by permission. All rights reserved. Soundtrack available on Universal Music Catalogue See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Crawdaddy Simone
Composed by Ray Fenwick & Jeff Williams
Published by Ivy Music Ltd
Performed by The Syndicats
Courtesy of Ray Fenwick
under licence from RPM Productions Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Good Enough Film
10 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I do know something about the mad genius that was Joe Meek. Enough to know that putting his turbulent life into one film is not easy, others have questioned why other formative elements of his life was missed out, if a film is good enough though, surely it will engage those who have seen and enjoyed it to look into it further, using the medium we are now, the internet?

Con O'Neill is excellent as the troubled Meek, he has to dominate the film and this he does. While it's true that others in the story were sometimes rather younger than the actors playing them, remember back in this period, the 'teenager' as we now understand it, was only starting to emerge, young people then still often looked, acted, dressed older.

They usually left school at 14-15, at around 18 (like Meek) many had to do military service, hand me down clothes from parents were common. All this was changing, as part of the social changes sign posted by the music, which Meek played a part in but, as shown by his dismissal of The Beatles he was doomed not to recognise fully and play a further part in.

Meek was the British Phil Spector. But he, as the film well shows, did not enjoy the financial rewards of hits, but both were innovative, reclusive, obsessive and dangerous around firearms. (Given just how many times Spector drew guns on some of the most famous music stars, as well as lovers, business associates, was anyone really surprised at the tragic events at Spector's home in 2003, I certainly thought 'he's finally done it'.)

Most music or music based biopics fail as films, while 'Telstar' is not up there with the stunning exception that is Ian Curtis biopic 'Control', it's way better than 'Great Balls Of Fire'.

I was certainly kept engaged by this film.


21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Telstar and the trouble with British cinema. NutNut
General Release hannah_shorty
£64,651 at the UK box office. NutNut
Where can I buy the film gracegraznak
Major Banks garth-banks
So disappointed....don't bother malkin-3
Discuss Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?