6.7/10
5,184
28 user 21 critic

Backbeat (1994)

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

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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:
... Astrid Kirchherr
... Stuart Sutcliffe
... John Lennon
... Paul McCartney
Chris O'Neill ... George Harrison
... Pete Best
... Klaus Voormann
... Cynthia Powell
Marcelle Duprey ... Singer
John White ... Sailor 1
Bernard Merrick ... Sailor 2
Nicholas Tennant ... Sailor 3
Finola Geraghty ... Model
Rob Spendlove ... Arthur Ballard
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:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

15 April 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A kezdetek  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,392,599
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 apart of the Beatles' chief rivals Rory Storm & 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

In the opening credits montage, the policeman directing traffic has long hair covering his ears, far too long for 1960. See more »

Quotes

John Lennon: I had a word with Van Gogh last night. He said if he could do it all again he'd be down here shaking his bottom to "Blue Suede Shoes." I gave him your regards.
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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 »


Soundtracks

Road Runner
Written & Composed by Bo Diddley (as Ellas McDaniel)
© 1960 ABC Music Corp New York
By kind permission of Jewel Music Publishing Co Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Prehistory
18 February 2006 | by See 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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