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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
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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

Actors Nigel Harman, James Corden, Ralf Little and Callum Dixon play Jess Conrad, Clem Cattini, Chas Hodges and John Leyton respectively. The real Conrad, Cattini, Hodges and Leyton all appear in the movie themselves albeit in small cameo roles. See more »

Goofs

The film is quite clearly set in 1963 but the registration plate of the black van in which the group are touring shows the suffix "D" which was issued in the year 1966. 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

Little Baby
Composed by Michael Stubbs
Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Performed by The Blue Rondos
Courtesy of The Blue Rondos
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stellar Performance from Con O'Neil
1 December 2009 | by technojazzbrotherSee all my reviews

British films made by people like Richard Curtis (The Boat that Rocked et al) tend to look at the swinging 60's of London with heavily rose tinted spectacles. All pimms, waistcoats, flower power and crazy shenanigans. All very well but not much to do with reality - I thought Austin Powers would have killed that off in the 90's....which is why Nick Moran's directorial debut is such a breath of fresh air.

For those that don't know the Joe Meek at the centre of this film - control freak, gay in the wrong decade, tone deaf drug addicted musical pioneer - get ready for a roller-coaster of a ride. Without wishing to spoil the arc of the story, this is a classic tale of a man with a vision breaking new ground...with disastrous consequences.

Con O'Neil dominates this film with a superb manic performance which captures the claustrophobic and chaotic feel of the centre of Joe's universe, his recording studio above a handbag shop in central London in the early 60's. Ably supported by a host of good actors - in particular Kevin Spacey, Pam Ferris, and (even) James Cordon are all spot on. What looks like a cod-60's Curtis-esquire disaster for the first 20 minutes heads somewhere altogether darker once the action cranks up as Joe starts to get some no.1 hits in the charts.

A must watch cautionary tale about fame, love, jealously, paranoia and music, this is a fine carachter piece with some excellent nuanced comedy amidst the darker elements, it's a really well executed debut from Mr Moran...enjoy.


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