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Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (2008)

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A music-infused drama about Joe Meek, the flamboyantly gay, tone deaf, songwriter-producer behind the '60s hits "Have I the Right," "Just Like Eddie," "Johnny, Remember Me" and "Telstar."

Director:

Nick Moran
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Con O'Neill ... Joe Meek
Kevin Spacey ... Major Wilfred Banks
Pam Ferris ... Mrs. Violet Shenton
JJ Feild ... Heinz Burt
James Corden ... Clem Cattini
Tom Burke ... Geoff Goddard
Ralf Little ... Chas Hodges
Sid Mitchell Sid Mitchell ... Patrick Pink
Mathew Baynton ... Ritchie Blackmore
Shaun Evans ... Billy Kuy
Callum Dixon ... John Leyton
Tom Harper ... Alan Caddy
Jon Lee Jon Lee ... Billy Fury
Nigel Harman Nigel Harman ... Jess Conrad
Carl Barât ... Gene Vincent (as Carl Barat)
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Storyline

In the early 1960s self-taught electronics whizz Joe Meek amazingly produces a string of home made hit singles from his studio in his flat above a leather shop in London. His biggest success is the instrumental 'Telstar' but accusations of plagiarism delay royalties. Joe's mercurial temper causes his artists to forsake him for other labels, in particular his young lover Heinz Burt. Now in debt and after unwisely parting from his chief financier Major Banks, Joe finds himself unable to control his life. Increasingly paranoid, believing he is being bugged by rival record companies and that everybody is out to get him, the last straw comes when landlady Violet tells him she is selling the building in which he lives. Joe had once confiscated a shotgun from Heinz. Now it is dangerously close at hand and about to end the Joe Meek story. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hit after hit... someone's going to get hurt

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 June 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Telstar See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£22,343 (United Kingdom), 21 June 2009, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Aspiration Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (a few scenes: television scenes and archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Immediately after 304 Holloway Road appears on the screen, a black and white television is seen in a shop window, showing a program called "Harper's W1, The Story of a London Store." This is a reference to the world famous Harrod's Knightsbridge, which is actually located in London SW1. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the film where Geoff Goddard first enters the Shenton's shop, the film is reversed. The shop name on the glass and the "Open/Closed" sign are back to front, and the lock, handle and bell are on opposite sides compared with the shot that follows. The first shot of Geoff Goddard entering the shop is shown in a round mirror. The frame can clearly be seen with the shop background behind it. See more »

Quotes

Major Wilfred Banks: Anton, isn't it?
Geoff Goddard: Sorry?
Major Wilfred Banks: Anton Hollywood, pianist?
Geoff Goddard: Yes. Well, no.
Major Wilfred Banks: Well, I'm afraid Joe's decision is final, he doesn't feel you've got what it takes. And if you've come for compensation, you can trot off back to wherever the hell...
Geoff Goddard: No, it's Geoff, not just Geoff. Geoff Goddard.
Major Wilfred Banks: Oh! The author! Tunesmith!
Geoff Goddard: Composer.
Major Wilfred Banks: Composer, yes, of course.
Geoff Goddard: The name Anton Hollywood was Joe's idea, it's not real. It's a stage name. He thought he'd do a Russ Conway with me, didn't work out.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

All tracks used by permission. All rights reserved. Soundtrack available on Universal Music Catalogue See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wright Stuff: Episode #17.110 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Bublight
Composed by Robert Duke (Joe Meek)
Published by Ivy Music Ltd
Performed by The Blue Men,
directed by Rod Freeman
Courtesy of The Rod Freeman Estate
under exclusive licence from RPM productions
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For US viewers - well done!
4 July 2011 | by arisdiscSee all my reviews

I watched this last night and frankly, thought it was terrific. I was alive during this short period of musical history but was not aware of this story (and I ended up in the music business myself for the next 40 years). I see that a number of UK viewers are disappointed with the casting (apparently many are familiar TV stars) but for us in the USA this has no negative effect. Kevin Spacey is the only familiar face and frankly, I found his presence just a tad distracting, since 'anyone' could have played the part. Extremely well acted and directed. The musical segments are wonderful and I only wish they had been a bit longer. My only disappointment with the film is the thick British accent - a lot of dialog passed me by (there were no subtitles on the version I watched) but it's not a reason for US film lovers to pass this by. Fascinating story - and in my opinion, perfectly executed. See it!


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