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Backbeat
31 January 2010
7.58pm
skye
AZ
Apple rooftop
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AKA Sutcliffe in Love.

Ok, so the music was good.

Just kidding! It was a good movie, similar to The Commitments except that this band makes it to the top. The movie takes some liberties with story, their deportation in particular, but it is usually necessary to streamline things for a movie. I didn't care much for the implication that it was a fight between John and Stu that led to Stu's death. Did they they actually fight? I thought he was attacked by gang members and had to be rescued by John and I think George?

Let's see, I think they did a good job on the casting. The guy playing Paul did a good job for the small part he was given. John was pretty good, but he seemed a little off. Can't quite put my finger on why. Stuart and Astrid were believable as a couple.

All in all, I'd give it a 7.5/10. It could stand on it's own even if it wasn't about The Beatles, but knowledge about them helps.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
31 January 2010
9.15pm
Elsewhere Man
Guest

I rather liked Ian Hart (a native Liverpudlian) who played John Lennon. The role was written a bit over the top but I thought his performance was excellent. He had also portrayed Lennon in "The Hours And Times," a film which speculated as to what might have happened during John Lennon & Brian Epstein's holiday in Spain, which was (surprisingly) tastefully done…

1 February 2010
9.06am
mjb
Candlestick Park
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skye said:

I didn't care much for the implication that it was a fight between John and Stu that led to Stu's death. Did they they actually fight? I thought he was attacked by gang members and had to be rescued by John and I think George?


They got jumped by a group of sailors after Lennon had opened his big gob I think, so maybe John got the 'blame' for starting the fight.

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
1 February 2010
10.26am
skye
AZ
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See, now that would have been exciting and more in line with what I was expecting. It wouldn't have detracted from the 'John is jealous of Stu' plot, in my opinion.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
1 February 2010
10.34am
PaulRamon
Liverpool
The Star-Club
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26 January 2010
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I think it referred to a story i've read in a few books now that John lost it with Stu when he said he was leaving and beat him up. I think it was referred to in the Philip Norman book recently too. I can't see that being true because he would have to have give him a right beating and how could they have carried on being friends after that? Also, why wouldn't Astrid have told this story because im sure he would have told her.

I don't remember that being in Backbeat

Onward my friends, and glory for the thirty ninth!!
1 February 2010
10.52am
skye
AZ
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Well it was more of a lovers tussle, but you didn't see Stu get hit any other time so when the doctor asks if he's taken any blows to the head, you think back to the previous scene.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
1 February 2010
10.59am
PaulRamon
Liverpool
The Star-Club
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Isn't there a scene at the start were they get beat up by sailors in Liverpool? I don't think any films should be making assumptions without knowing the facts. I once read it happened at Litherland Town Hall by a gang of jealous boyfriends but we'll never know. Very sad thing to happen 

Onward my friends, and glory for the thirty ninth!!
1 February 2010
11.08am
skye
AZ
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I'm going to have to watch this thing again, aren't I?

Even so, in the book I was reading (Liddypool), the author talked to a medical examiner about it and the ME concluded that the time between his concussion and death were too long for the two to be related. No doubt the fights and the speed didn't help, but they weren't the cause.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
1 February 2010
2.24pm
Joe
Pepperland
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There's a lot of conjecture about this issue, and I think we'll never know for sure. However, I recommend this message from rec.music.beatles suggests Stuart's causes of death were unlikely to be related to a blow to the head.

I've heard it said that it was one of the June/July 1960 appearances at the Grosvenor Ballroom in Wallasey where Stuart was beaten up – by local Teddy boys rather than sailors. Or perhaps he was generally unlucky and it happened more than once. Frown

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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1 February 2010
5.47pm
skye
AZ
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Damn. That makes sense too. There's like five different versions to every story with this band, all seeming just as valid as the next. How am I supposed to make any sense of it?

Bottom line: Learn to protect your head (or stay out of fights) and choose your parents wisely.

Edit: Never mind. I did a more thorough reading of your comment and of the article and it's almost word for word what I read previously.

Dramatic license it is.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
11 February 2010
4.11pm
PeterWeatherby
A Park in the Dark
Carnegie Hall
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5 February 2010
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Just watched this movie yesterday.  That was a very, very interesting experience for me.  I thought they did a great job of finding actors who looked like the Beatles and could do the voices reasonably well (which is very important to me in any film/cartoon about the lads).  

As could be expected, I suppose, condensing that much story into a 2-hr film made some parts seem too glossy and polished.  There are all of these scenes with the boys out and about, in the woods, on the beach, in this club or that club, and I kept thinking, "Where did they find the time for all of this leisure if they were being worked to the bone every night?"

The depictions of the band on stage were a bit too "clean" as well – it looks to me, from the film's portrayal, that Stu was one helluva bass player!  All those melodic runs, the rapid fills, and all with a ciggie in his fretting hand!  Doesn't really seem to jive with the historical accounts about Stu having a hard time even staying in the right key as the rest of the band.

Someone mentioned Stu's fight with John: that does get covered in some detail in Philip Norman's book, John Lennon: A Life.  It was the first source from which I've ever heard that story.  I seem to remember him saying that (contrary to the film's rather tame version) John really lost it and beat the slop out of Stu during that conflict (I think he said John kicked Stu in the head a few times).  What sticks with me from that account is Norman saying that John was haunted by that fight after Stu had died, thinking he might have been responsible for it.  I need to go back and re-read the book to see exactly how it's presented there.

Anyway – all in all, I really did enjoy this movie.  It can't be perfect, obviously, but I didn't see anything so glaringly stupid that it would make me want to write off the whole film.  I'll definitely watch it again (even if only for Gary Bakewell's performance as Macca – goodness, did he have that smile-while-singing-and-shaking-your-head movement perfected, or what?).

Not a bit like Cagney.
11 February 2010
6.44pm
skye
AZ
Apple rooftop
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PeterWeatherby said:

The depictions of the band on stage were a bit too "clean" as well – it looks to me, from the film's portrayal, that Stu was one helluva bass player!  All those melodic runs, the rapid fills, and all with a ciggie in his fretting hand!  Doesn't really seem to jive with the historical accounts about Stu having a hard time even staying in the right key as the rest of the band.

———-

Anyway – all in all, I really did enjoy this movie.  It can't be perfect, obviously, but I didn't see anything so glaringly stupid that it would make me want to write off the whole film.  I'll definitely watch it again (even if only for Gary Bakewell's performance as Macca – goodness, did he have that smile-while-singing-and-shaking-your-head movement perfected, or what?).


It didn't look like the Indra did it? I think they skipped it and went straight to the Kaiserkeller. Bakewell needed a bigger part. ;) I think it would have worked better as a mini series, but I'd watch it again.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
31 January 2011
2.05am
Kail
A Beginning
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31 January 2011
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I thought this movie was pretty good. The music was GREAT! I'd love to see that Birth of the Beatles movie that was made for TV by Dick Clark. It's been years, but I remember it being pretty good.

31 January 2011
4.11am
skye
AZ
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Hi Kail! Welcome to the forum. I think I need to watch it again, now that I am more familiar with their story.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
9 February 2011
3.15am
Kail
A Beginning
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31 January 2011
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skye said:

Hi Kail! Welcome to the forum. I think I need to watch it again, now that I am more familiar with their story.


Thanks Skye! This is a great website! I've become addicted.
27 April 2013
10.49pm
AppleScruffJunior
Sitting here, doing nothing but procrastinating
Apple rooftop
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18 March 2013
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I resurrect thee zombie thread:

Just finished watching Backbeat for the first time a couple of minutes ago (and I call myself a Beatles fan a-hard-days-night-john-7) I thought it was quite, the acting was good and for once the actors actually looked like the boys (Hallelujah praise the Lord!). It would also have been a fun drinking game to drink every time you saw a pair of tits or somebody was getting the ride, (you'd be drunk 1/4 through and you would need your stomach pumped by the end) but apart from the few historical blunders it was a decent film. My final thought's are:

Stephen Dorff as stuart-sutcliffe is a ride and an amazing actor.

Ian Hart as a-hard-days-night-john-4 was, always very good and another idea for the drinking game every time John says "fuck" take a shot

Chris O' Neill as a-hard-days-night-george-9 is dawwwww so cute, he didn't want to bring scones with him 'cause he was in a rock 'n' roll band and how he was so awkward with the girl. That's my George a-hard-days-night-george-10 Good actor and actually looks like George a rare occurrence in Beatles biopics

Gary Bakewell as a-hard-days-night-paul-8was brilliant in The Linda McCartney story and brilliant here but he needed more lines

And Sheryl Lee as Astrid was very good

Overall: Very good Beatles biopic and music wasn't that bad either 8/10

INTROVERTS UNITE! Separately.....In your own homes.----Make Love, Not Wardrobes!
27 April 2013
11.41pm
Funny Paper
America
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1 November 2012
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AppleScruffJunior said
I resurrect thee zombie thread:

Just finished watching Backbeat for the first time…

Gary Bakewell as a-hard-days-night-paul-8was brilliant in The Linda McCartney story and brilliant here but he needed more lines

I had to look up the pics of the actor playing Paul, and found this one with the actress playing Linda:

http://i0.wp.com/2.bp.blogspot.com/-GsE1bd9Q0zw/TgAE5I6BYEI/AAAAAAAAxxc/FgQ-VMRb3xI/s1600/Gary+Bakewell%252C.jpg?w=200

This is just … wrong, all wrong.

While I like actress Elizabeth Mitchell (she played the oddly deranged doctor on Lost), and while she certainly has the naturally blonde earthy look down, I'm sorry, she's no better than Bakewell at capturing the essence of the inimitable.  Some icons just can't be acted by others.  For example, I've never seen a Sinatra biopic that had a worthy actor to fill the shoes of his unique persona.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
27 April 2013
11.51pm
AppleScruffJunior
Sitting here, doing nothing but procrastinating
Apple rooftop
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18 March 2013
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^ Not many people can play Paul McCartney sure he isn't the man himself but he does a decent portrayal of him compared to some awful people I've seen try to do Paul before 

INTROVERTS UNITE! Separately.....In your own homes.----Make Love, Not Wardrobes!
28 April 2013
10.47am
fabfouremily
Sitting in an English garden
Apple rooftop
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I've never seen 'Backbeat' but I quite want to. A few months ago,  I wasn't interested in watching any Beatles biopics but I've seen 'Nowhere Boy' now and I loved it, which makes me want to try a few others, as well.

What channel was it on? I didn't seen any adverts for it  :(

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

28 April 2013
12.01pm
AppleScruffJunior
Sitting here, doing nothing but procrastinating
Apple rooftop
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I might have watched it coughonlinecough but you didn't need to download it so I was a happy camper. I can give you the link if you want?

INTROVERTS UNITE! Separately.....In your own homes.----Make Love, Not Wardrobes!
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