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Backbeat
     

Backbeat

3.0 2
Director: Iain Softley

Cast: Sheryl Lee, Stephen Dorff, Ian Hart

 

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Iain Softley's Backbeat tells the story of the early years of the Beatles, focusing on John Lennon's friendship with the doomed Stuart Sutcliffe. This collector's edition DVD presents the film in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. An English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, and a French

Overview

Iain Softley's Backbeat tells the story of the early years of the Beatles, focusing on John Lennon's friendship with the doomed Stuart Sutcliffe. This collector's edition DVD presents the film in a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. An English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, and a French soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Stereo. Supplemental materials include an entertaining commentary track from director Iain Softley and actors Ian Hart and Stephen Dorff. Softley and Hart talk of the extensive work that went into the planning of the film. An audio interview with Astrid Kirchner provides a nice augmentation to the film, as does additional interviews with Softley and Hart. A still photo gallery, and footage of the casting sessions round out this excellent release from Focus.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
The trick to making a good rock & roll movie is to get the music right. On that note, Backbeat is a resounding success. By having an all-star band of modern musicians (Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore on lead guitar, R.E.M.'s Mike Mills on bass, Nirvana's Dave Grohl on drums, Afghan Whigs' Greg Dulli singing John Lennon's parts, and Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner singing Paul McCartney's parts) record the songs on the Beatles' Hamburg set lists ("Long Tall Sally," "Please Mr. Postman," and "Rock and Roll Music" to name just three), the filmmakers have succeeded in approximating the enthusiasm, speed, and talent the Beatles themselves played with during this period. Ian Hart's performance captures the emotional tumultuousness as well as the genius of John Lennon. Watch the tricky scenes about two-thirds of the way through the film when John's wife Cynthia comes to visit. The two of them spend a day at the beach with Stewart and Astrid. These scenes are about how John and Cynthia do not want the same things in life. Hart communicates both the restless spirit and the self-hatred within John. He doesn't want to hurt Cynthia, but he knows he will leave her one day. Hart makes it easy to believe that such an emotionally complex man could make such a powerful sound while on stage. A person doesn't just hear great music. A person feels great music. The all-star band makes the music sound right. Hart's interpretation of John Lennon makes it look right. The film is not completely successful, but it triumphs in the area that is most important.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2005
UPC:
0025192543920
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:41:00
Sales rank:
22,333

Special Features

Closed Caption; A Conversation With Astrid Kirchherr; Interviews with director Iain Softley and actor Ian Hart; Iain Softley interview for the Sundance Channel; Deleted scenes; TV featurette; Casting session; Director's essay; Photo gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sheryl Lee Astrid Kirchherr
Stephen Dorff Stuart Sutcliffe
Ian Hart John Lennon
Gary Bakewell Paul McCartney
Chris O'Neill George Harrison
Kai Wiesinger Klaus Voormann
Sharif Rashed Actor
Carlton Williams Actor
Rob Spendlove Arthur Ballard
Charlie Caine Lord Woodbine
Paul Humpoletz Bruno
Gertan Klauber Pimp
James Doherty Tony Sheridan
Albert Welling Doctor
Wolf Kahler Bert Kaempfert
Scot Williams Pete Best

Technical Credits
Iain Softley Director,Screenwriter
Paul Cowan Producer
Finola Dwyer Producer
Paul Gray Asst. Director
Pat Hay Makeup
Hanno Huth Executive Producer
Sheena Napier Costumes/Costume Designer
Nik Powell Executive Producer
Mary Soan Asst. Director
Michael Thomas Screenwriter
Martin Walsh Editor
Don Was Score Composer
Ian Wilson Cinematographer
Stephen Woolley Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [2:27]
2. "It's Not Me Mate, It's Him" [3:21]
3. "You Call That Art?" [4:23]
4. The Son of a Son of a Sailor [8:27]
5. "I Can't Fight You. You're Wearing a Dress" [15:56]
6. "Everybody Is Talking About You" [7:25]
7. "We're Going to Be Too Big for Our Own Good" [8:37]
8. The Top Ten Club [4:14]
9. "You're the Angriest Person I've Ever Met" [1:59]
10. "We're Being Deported" [7:39]
11. "I Know What John's Going to Say" [2:14]
12. "We Can't Go On Like This" [6:25]
13. "I Want to Be a Painter. I Want the Chance" [4:24]
14. "He Could've Been in the Beatles" [3:59]
15. "I'll Say Hello to Elvis for You" [1:33]
16. Red Paint [3:56]
17. "They're Going to Be Famous" [2:07]
18. I'm Sorry [2:45]
19. A Song for Absent Friends [5:13]
20. End Titles [3:12]

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Backbeat 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"THIS MOVIE IS A HORRIBLE MISREPRESENTATION, AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE UNLESS YOU WANT TO SEE AN UNBELIEVABLY SLANDEROUS, SUPERFICIAL AND BANAL MOVIE. THE SADDEST THING IS THAT PEOPLE WILL SEE THIS FILM AND THINK THIS IS AN ACCURATE PORTRAYAL OF SUTCLIFFE AND OF LENNON, WHICH IT IS NOT. ONE OF THE WORST THINGS ABOUT THIS FILM IS A BRUTAL FIGHT SCENE THAT IS ENTIRELY UNTRUE AND FABRICATED AND HAS NOT ONE OUNCE OF TRUTH TO IT. IT SHOWS SUTCLIFFE BEATING UP A FRIEND OF HIS GIRLFRIEND, IN A JEALOUS RAGE. I INTERVIEWED A PERSON WHO KNEW STUART THEN, AND THEY STATE THAT THAT FIGHT NEVER OCCURRED, NOTHING EVER EVEN CLOSE TO IT. SUTCLIFFE WAS GENTLE AND NONVIOLENT,ACCORDING TO QUOTES BY EVERYONE WHO KNEW HIM INCLUDING LENNON AND HARRISON IN REAL LIFE, AND THIS FABRICATED UNTRUE SCENE MAKES HIM SEEM LIKE A NUT. THE FILM MAKES LENNON SEEM LIKE A WHINNY HOMOPHOBIC ANGRY MESS, AND THERE IS NO DELVING INTO THE COMPELLING TRUTHS ABOUT WHY LENNON AND SUTCLIFFE WERE SO COMPATIBLE AND DEEPLY CLOSE AND CARING FRIENDS. SUTCLIFFE WAS A GENTLE ARTIST, HE SOON TIRED OF THE ROCK AND ROLL LIFE, AND WAS A DEEP THINKER, INTELLIGENT, AND CARING AND ANY BIO BOOK ON HIM CLEARLY STATES THAT, AND HIS FRIENDS AND THE BEATLES HAVE MADE MANY QUOTES ABOUT HIS TRUE FASCINATING CHARACTER. THIS FILM IS RUBBISH AND MAKES HIM OUT TO BE A JERK WITH NO REASON TO BE A MOODY JERK. THE PERFORMANCE BY DORFF AND IAN HART ARE GREAT, BUT THE SCREENPLAY IS GARBAGE. DONT WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS ONE, AND IF YOU WANT TO SEE A MORE REALISTIC VERSION OF SUTCLIFFE, WATCH THE TV BIOPIC CALLED "LENNON"."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago