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Birth of the Beatles (1979)

An account of The Beatles during the Hamburg years, their signing with Brian Epstein and their inevitable rise during the early sixties.

Director:

Richard Marquand

Writers:

John Kurland (screenplay), Jacob Eskendar (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen MacKenna ... John Lennon
Rod Culbertson Rod Culbertson ... Paul McCartney
John Altman ... George Harrison
Ray Ashcroft Ray Ashcroft ... Ringo Starr
Michael Ryan Michael Ryan ... Pete Best (as Ryan Michael)
David Wilkinson ... Stu Sutcliffe
Brian Jameson Brian Jameson ... Brian Epstein
Wendy Morgan ... Cynthia
Gary Olsen Gary Olsen ... Rory Storm
Linal Haft Linal Haft ... Agent
Eileen Kennally Eileen Kennally ... Aunt Mimi
Richard Marner ... Club Boss
Alyson Spiro ... Astrid
Nigel Havers ... George Martin
Jackie Fishel Jackie Fishel ... Street Girl
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Storyline

An account of The Beatles during the Hamburg years, their signing with Brian Epstein and their inevitable rise during the early sixties.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

John, Paul, George and Ringo! The first movie to show the way they really were. The fun. The music. The story of the band that changed the world. Re-live it all tonight. Featuring 15 of the songs that made them a legend. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Beatles születése See more »

Filming Locations:

Chelsea, London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dick Clark Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Rickenbacker 330 guitars played by Stephen MacKenna as John Lennon are actually Japanese-made copies. The headstocks are longer than a real Rickenbacker and the pickups and tailpieces differ. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie when the Beatles audition for a club, John Lennon says they'll be playing Dizzy Miss Lizzy in the key of E, but when they play, its in the key of B flat. See more »

Quotes

Brian Epstein: What do you mean, "Pete's Out"? And "Ringo's In"? I like Pete! He's very popular. Girls sleep out in his garden, it's good for the whole group!
Paul McCartney: Pete's not a Beatle.
John Lennon: He's too conventional. Anyway, Ringo's a professional.
Brian Epstein: This doesn't make sense! I mean, you could have gotten rid of Pete after the trip to Hamburg!
John Lennon: Pete hasn't grown like the rest of us.
Brian Epstein: Don't upset the apple cart. Everything's finally going well. The record company heard his drumming. They liked it!
John Lennon: You're not listening, Eppie. ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Backbeat (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Ask Me Why
Written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Performed by Rain (Eddie Lineberry, Chuck Coffey, Bill Connearney, and Steve Wight)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captures the spirit of the Hamburg days nicely
20 November 2009 | by loza-1See all my reviews

There are a number of things that are not correct, although this is not too important since what happened to whom and when is still in dispute. The most blatant liberty with the facts I think is when they start to play at Bruno Koschmidder's Kaiserkeller, when in fact they played at the Indra and moved to the Kaiserkeller later.

I agree with Semprinni20 that the film was biased in favour of Pete Best's version, but if he is the story consultant then I guess he calls the shots. I also agree with Semprinni that the recordings Pete Best plays on say the last word on the subject of why he was fired.

Although the film is not such a lavish production as the later film "Backbeat", I prefer this film because it is more accurate, and because it has a better script with deeper characterisation.

There is plenty in the film that is quite substantial - such as Brian Epstein trying to hide the fact that he has been "queer-bashed," only to find out that the band knew he was Gay all along. Little touches like the band going into a café and ordering "Corn-Flakes mit Milch." My favourite scene, which does have some bassis in fact, is where at an audition Stuart Sutcliffe has just bought his bass guitar but can't play it, so he stands with his back to the impresario and tries faking it, but gets caught. That's rock 'n' roll.

Well worth watching.


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