6.7/10
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29 user 28 critic

Backbeat (1994)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
A dramatization of the Hamburg, Germany phase of The Beatles' early history.

Director:

Iain Softley
Reviews
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:

He Had To Choose Between His Best Friend... The Woman He Loved... And The Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band In the World. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only appearance of Ringo Starr in the film, laying sick on Stuart's bed, is not the only encounter that The Beatles had with the man who would eventually become their drummer. In reality, they had known Ringo back in Liverpool and he was a part of The Beatles' chief rivals, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes (which many have said was a superior band to The Beatles at the time). They even hung out with Ringo in Hamburg and he sat in on jam sessions late at night when the club was nearly empty. Their time spent together in Hamburg would actually start the ball rolling on Ringo replacing Pete Best as the drummer. See more »

Goofs

A scene dated March 1961 has George being wished a happy 18th birthday. George's actual birthday was in February (as was even mentioned earlier in the film.) See more »

Quotes

Stuart Sutcliffe: I like the blonde but I prefer the brunette.
John Lennon: Blondes have more fun.
Stuart Sutcliffe: Says who?
John Lennon: Swedes.
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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

References Andy Pandy (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Bright Lights Big City
Written, Composed & Performed by Jimmy Reed
By kind permission of Tristar Music Ltd
Recording courtesy of Charly Records Ltd
See more »

User Reviews

The Pre-Beatles Show
15 March 1999 | by Quentin-12See all my reviews

Finally we see the side to the Beatles that no one really knew - what happened before and what they were before. Stephen Dorff gives off another simply brilliant performance as Stuart - the man who could have been but never cared enough he was "Just along for a few laughs". Being a Beatles fan I've always been interested in their personal lives and this movie gets more personal than any documentary or news reel could. As to how true the events are I'm not sure but it was a definitely enjoyable movie.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | Germany

Language:

English | German | French | Russian

Release Date:

15 April 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Backbeat 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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