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17 user 4 critic

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 ... 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 ... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Only film about The Beatles produced and released prior to the death of John Lennon. See more »

Goofs

When the Beatles are in Hamburg in 1961, George Harrison sings "Don't Bother Me" on stage, the first song he wrote for the group but in actuality Harrison didn't write the song until 1963, and it was included on the Beatles' second album. See more »

Quotes

Brian Epstein: This may come as a surprise. It surprises even me, but I'd like to be your manager. I'm organized, very methodical, but I'm also human. No doubt I'll make mistakes, but you're an incredible group. I'm sure I can help you. What you need is an English record contract. Through my contacts, that could be arranged. What are you earning now?
Pete Best: Seventy-five pounds a week.
George Harrison: Each.
Brian Epstein: No, no, you're making fifteen pounds a night, if and when you play. But I can do better. Naturally, I'd only take commissions on ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

A European version exists, and is a different cut from the American version. The following changes were made to the European version:
  • Some of the dialogue and text in this version is different.
  • The opening narration is now done by a British narrator, with the opening text superimposed on a black screen as opposed to a blue screen.
  • The prologue, which includes John saying that he wants to see Mickey Mouse is omitted.
  • The opening theme song is "My Bonnie" instead of "She Loves You".
  • A scene in an art school with a naked woman is included.
  • The scenes where The Beatles perform at Der Kaiserkiller are longer. They also include two additional song scenes: "Kansas City" and "Shake, Rattle and Roll" (the former has them trip on the stage floor, while the latter has them break it).
  • The scene where they find Stuart badly beaten has extra dialogue.
  • The scene where Stuart and Astrid have their moment in bed together is different. The other version has him showing her her new necklace, while this version, has the two of them making love to each other.
  • John's bedroom scene with Stuart has extra shots of the others in bed.
  • The scene where they first talk to Brian Epstein is a little bit longer.
  • The scene where Brian goes to find The Beatles performing "Love Me Do" at a venue is longer.
  • The scene where Brian goes to tell the Beatles about George Martin and EMI, has him getting out of a taxi.
  • In the scene where Cynthia tell John about expecting a baby, John asks her "What are we gonna call him?"
  • The scene where the Beatles arrive at New York City is longer.
  • The end credits feature "She Loves You", instead of "My Bonnie".
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 »

User Reviews

Good reproduction of the times
20 November 2001 | by davidllewisSee all my reviews

This is a rather overlooked film, though one with many good points. It goes through the now familiar story of the development of the Beatles, ending (I think) with the tragic death of Stu Sutcliffe. Unlike the later Backbeat, which, though a good film, was flawed by its 'arthouse' approach, Birth of the Beatles tells the story fairly straightly. I'd imagine that casual fans would be more interested in this then die hard fans. But check it out anyway - the performances (particularly that of John Lennon) are very good.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Birth of the Beatles 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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