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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

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

Goofs

The guitars played by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison in the early scenes are incorrect. Respectively, they are seen holding a Harmony Stratotone Jupiter, a Fender Stratocaster copy, and an '60's Ibanez respectively. In reality, Lennon played a Rickenbacker 325, McCartney an Italian-made Rosati, and Harrison a Czech-made Futurama. See more »

Quotes

Stu Sutcliffe: I've made up me mind. Tonight, I'm leaving.
John Lennon: But you're a Beatle! We're nothing without you.
Stu Sutcliffe: You need someone who can give you the pulse you need... who can crow with you... and that's not me. Besides, I've decided to stay here. Astrid and I are getting married. I'm going back to art school.
John Lennon: When are you going to see a doctor?
Stu Sutcliffe: I don't need a doctor! I'm in love.
John Lennon: Look, don't mention it to the others about leaving till after the record date this week, then that'll give you time to think it over.
Stu Sutcliffe: ...
[...]
See more »

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

References A Hard Day's Night (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Please Mister Postman
Written by Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland, and Robert Bateman
Performed by Rain (Eddie Lineberry, Chuck Coffey, Bill Connearney, and Steve Wight)
See more »

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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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