6.7/10
5,327
28 user 24 critic

Backbeat (1994)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

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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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Photos

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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

Gross USA:

$2,392,599
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Klaus Voormann introduces himself to the Beatles, he mentions that he's an artist, and lays a stack of album covers on the bar. Voorman would later go on to create the covers for The Beatles albums "Revolver" and "The Beatles Anthology" (One large painting cut into thirds for the three volumes). See more »

Goofs

There are at least one movie posters visible, that aren't from that period. "Svezia, inferno e paradiso" (aka Sweden: Heaven and Hell) movie released in 1968, and it can seen in movie theatre scene (At 01:05). See more »

Quotes

[Stu has just been badly beaten]
John Lennon: You alright, Stu?
Stuart Sutcliffe: How do I look?
John Lennon: Put it this way - you'll get better. I'll always be ugly.
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

References Andy Pandy (1950) 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 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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