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Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (2008)

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1:44 | Trailer
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

This film is an adaptation of James Hicks' and Nick Moran's original stage play Telstar, which opened at the New Ambassadors Theatre in London's West End in June 2005. See more »

Goofs

The film shows Heinz Burt featuring in the TV show Oh Boy!, which was shown on British TV some years earlier. See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Krays (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Crawdaddy Simone
Composed by Ray Fenwick & Jeff Williams
Published by Ivy Music Ltd
Performed by The Syndicats
Courtesy of Ray Fenwick
under licence from RPM Productions Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fame, fortune and it all goes horribly wrong
29 October 2008 | by marcelproustSee all my reviews

Saw this last night at the LFF, and while it does betray its stagey origins from time to time, there is much to enjoy in this biopic of Joe Meek, legendary music producer and nutcase. The film doesn't shy away from the murkier aspects of this mercurial character's life - the drugs, the rent boys, the cottaging, the verbal and physical abuse meted out to all and sundry - but Meek does emerge as something of a sympathetic character. I guess that's why so many people put up with him - there must have been something charming about him.

Good performances - including a pointless cameo from Kevin Spacey as Meek's financial backer, the appropriately named Major Banks. Standouts include the young actors playing Heinz and Patrick, the latter being a general factotum-cum-boyfriend who is one of the few people loyal to the last.

Nick Moran should be commended for bringing this quirky, sometime shocking story to the screen - whether it will find an audience beyond 60s music fans or those with a morbid curiosity for stories of pop scandals will remain to be seen.

Incidentally, I live in Islington and walked home past 304 Holloway Road, where almost the whole film takes place. It did send shivers down my spine.


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