6.6/10
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Backbeat (1994)

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A dramatization of the Hamburg, Germany phase of The Beatles' early history.

Director:

Iain Softley
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheryl Lee ... Astrid Kirchherr
Stephen Dorff ... Stuart Sutcliffe
Ian Hart ... John Lennon
Gary Bakewell ... Paul McCartney
Chris O'Neill Chris O'Neill ... George Harrison
Scot Williams ... Pete Best
Kai Wiesinger ... Klaus Voormann
Jennifer Ehle ... Cynthia Powell
Marcelle Duprey Marcelle Duprey ... Singer
John White John White ... Sailor 1
Bernard Merrick Bernard Merrick ... Sailor 2
Nicholas Tennant Nicholas Tennant ... Sailor 3
Finola Geraghty Finola Geraghty ... Model
Rob Spendlove Rob Spendlove ... Arthur Ballard
Charlie Caine Charlie Caine ... Lord Woodbine
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Storyline

A pre-fame Beatles head for the seedy clubs of Hamburg in search of success. The band meet up with a group of trendy German beatniks, one of whom (Astrid Kircherr) bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe falls in love with. Whilst best friend John Lennon can only watch, Sutcliffe has to choose between rock 'n roll and a new life in Germany... Written by Douglas Baptie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

5 guys, 4 legends, 3 lovers, 2 friends, 1 band. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, and for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Germany

Language:

English | German | French | Russian

Release Date:

15 April 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A kezdetek See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$126,740, 17 April 1994

Gross USA:

$2,392,589

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,392,589
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Punk-rock musicians and techniques from the 1990s were used to create the film's soundtrack, instead of the precise styles of the period, to better convey the way the music felt to the early fans of The Beatles: "it was the punk of its day". Ringo Starr has been quoted as saying that the movie's music reflects exactly the punk band that The Beatles were back then. See more »

Goofs

The train carriage at Hamburg station has a date of 22.2.90 stenciled at the bottom. This will be the date of the last full service, 3 years before filming but 30 years after the action. See more »

Quotes

Paul McCartney: C'mon, George! We're starvin'! Where are those lovely scones your mother makes?
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end of the end titles, long after all the other music credits have run, one last music credit appears on the otherwise blank screen: "TIME TO GO HOME, Written by Maria Bird, Published by Minder Music." See more »

Connections

Featured in 1994 MTV Video Music Awards (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Tall Sally
Written & Composed by Richard Penniman [Little Richard], Enotris Johnson & Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell
By kind permission of Peermusic (UK) Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Prehistory
18 February 2006 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

This is an excellent depiction of the Beatles ' Hamburg days .But the movie real heroes are actually Sutcliffe,Lennon and Astrid.The movie was made some years after Goldman's infamous book and there are hints at an homosexual relation between John and Stu ("you're jealous of me!"Astrid would have said to John!) but the director does not insist and he finally depicts a true friendship.He pits Stu's down-to-earth world against Astrid's chic elitist intellectual one : they go to the pictures to see Melville's "Les enfants terribles" (actually a Cocteau story),and she seems to be very fond of the French culture:Cocteau,Sartre ,Edith Piaf ,Rimbaud,;and she was ahead of her time since fifteen years later,rock singer Patti Smith had the same idols.The scenarists also sketch a parallel between the Klaus Voorman/Astrid relationship and "les enfants terribles" Ian Hart is an excellent John Lennon,in turn cynical,violent,delicate,nasty,hateful;Gary Bakewell resembles Paul,but he is not given a single moment to shine ;as for Georges ,he is completely insignificant.The music is very exciting .Even when Stu (Dorff) sings his ditty in a gleeful croak ,it's rock and roll ! At the end of the movie,the dialog begins to ring false.Everybody acts as if the Beatles were to become huge ;at the time ,who could have predicted such a career?It's a rebuilding of history a posteriori.And if the final lines about Astrid,Stu and Klaus are useful,those about the Beatles are overkill:everybody knows that they were the biggest group of all time.

A must for Beatles' fans anyway.


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