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4.3 out of 5 stars27
4.3 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2003
Ok, this is one of the greatest filmes of all time. First off, The cast memembers that they got to play the Beatles were very uncanney. You couldnt have picked a better cast! The Script was fantastic. Full of Great dialogue! and last, but certainlny not least, The Cinematography. What more can I say? The picture itself is beautiful! It totaly makes the movie. The Characters themselves are so surreal, I just loved them all! They made you feel like you could have had a good chat with anyone of them. They brought to life a part of the Beatles that very little people saw. You must see this movie if you already havent!
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on April 22, 2004
I got a kick out of the current "Spotlight" review of this DVD, the one referring to a portrayal of an unrequited "homosexual" love affair between Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon. People see what they want to see, I guess, but I didn't see that at all in this wonderful movie. Sure, the John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe characters experience a deep felt "love" for each other, but love in a non-sexual sense. A man can feel intense love for another man (or a woman for another woman, a mother and daughter for instance)and it doesn't have to be (nor is it usually) sexual. Maybe it takes a quite a few years to realize it, but sexual love is really the weakest kind of love out there. Sexual love often boils down to nothing more than lust, and the friendship between John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe that is portrayed in BACKBEAT is in a world apart from than that.
As most everyone has said, the movie is a absolute delight. The performances are all strong and the cinematography just right. It's one of those films you can watch over and over again, and see something different each time. Most highly recommended, especially to fans of early Beatle music.
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on July 27, 2003
When perplexed Roger Ebert reviewed this movie, he joked that saying this movie is about the early Beatles is like saying Hamlet is about a gravedigger who meets a prince.
A synopsis of this movie is: John Lennon convinces Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff), an art school friend, to join the band as a bass player. He agrees and off they go to Hamburg. The other band members are bewildered as to why John insists that such an untalented muscian as Stuart Suttcliffe is in the band in the first place. Paul and John have an argument over kicking Suttcliffe off the band, which results in John's threat to quit the band if Suttcliffe is asked to leave. In the meantime, Sutcliffe has met Astrid (Sheryl Lee), a bohemian photographer, who encourages him to pursue his interest in painting. John and Astrid spar over Suttcliffe's affection. After a violent confrontation with Stuart over Asrid, John finally accepts that Stuart is leaving him, and gets on with his life.
One might venture to ask WHY a movie that is supposed to be about the early Beatles has a plot revolving around the relationship between John Lennon and Stuart Suttcliffe?
Stuart Suttcliffe, 'the 5th Beatle' is actually a bit of trivia in the story of the Beatles. On the other hand, it's a key to understanding who John Lennon was.
This is a love story between two men, BEFORE the relatively NEW and rigid concept of orientation was established in the Sexual Revolution of the 70's and 80's. The fact that the intimacy between Lennon and Suttcliffe was never 'consumated' in an actual sex act doesn't detract from the powerful affection between them. It was just the way things were before homosexual Liberation.
This is a beautiful compelling movie. Buy it, rent it, watch it!
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on June 16, 2003
Like most bisexuals, I hold with the belief that your true sexual orientation is expressed by who you fall in love with, not necessarily about who you are having sex with, or even who you marry. Any sensitive person can see that the REAL love story here was the one between John Lennon and Stu Suttcliff.
Stu was John Lennon's first real crush, a love he expressed in his attachement toward Stu. But like so many same-sex innocent adolesencent or young adult homosexual crushes, it was never physically expressed.
Most gay or bisexual man can recite for you a number of these frustrating adolescent crushes. You knew that you felt a powerful emotional attraction to someone, but you were too young and ignorant to understand what it was. Or if you did understand it, you were too scared to do anything about it.
It is a mystery what Stu felt, and the movie is ambiguous about it as well. But what John felt is plainly obvious. This movie certainly sheds a lot of light on the nature of John Lennon, and adds more evidence to those who have pointed out the underlying gay aesthetics of the early Beatles.
Gay or straight, rent this movie!
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on May 15, 1999
This movie has everything from tear-jerking emotion to all-out action. The actors portraying the characters of John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe (Ian Hart and Stephen Dorff) are fantastic in their roles as do-or-die best friends. This movie really captured the rough and tumble action of the early days of the Beatles, and the heartbreakingly deep friendship between John and Stu. The acting is amazing and really grabs you by the heartstrings. I never cry during movies, but the ending to this one had me bawling, something that's very rare. But despite this, Backbeat is a wonderful mix of charismatic fun, tough attitudes, unbreakable friendships, betrayl, and of course great music. This is by far the best movie made about the Beatles, and even if you aren't a fan of theirs you won't be able to help yourself from liking this non-stop thrill ride of a movie. I also loved the way it gives long over-due credit to to my personal favorite member of the early group, Stuart Sutcliffe, who died before the band made it big, and left the future biggest band in the world, for love and to do what he wanted to do despite the fact that it was one of the hardest things he ever did because of his friendship with John. In short, this movie was a really well-crafted piece of entertainment that also serves to give respect to one of the least well-known but greatest painters of our time who was also a big influence on the greatest band of all time.
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on May 29, 1999
When I first saw this movie, I wasn't sure what to make about it. I am a Beatles fan, and I always expected them to be perfectly faithful and never mean. I was wrong. This movie showed an evil side to Lennon and nice side to Stu. Now I realize that I enjoyed this movie. It was more realistic than any documentary film I have seen on them. Most movies about them talk about how perfect they were. And how smily and cheerful they were. This movie was not only sweet and funny, it was also tragic and real. So if you want to see a movie that is good, but also shows the truth behind the Beatles, this is a good pick.
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on June 12, 2003
This movie is not just for those who love the beatles. This is a movie for anyone who loves a great story. the dialogue and acting are absorbing and not full of cliches. the dynamics between John Lennon , Stuart Sutcliffe and Astrid draw you in whether you ever heard of the Beatles or not.
The love story of Stu and Astrid will captivate all romantics and the music and raunchiness of Hamburg nightlife will enthrall rock lovers.
Just a great movie to watch more than once. you will fall in love with the characters. Steven Dorf is amazing and underrated in this movie....
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on August 13, 2003
I'm posting this review to let Backbeat fans know how great the extras are on the disc. The DVD is anamorphic widescreen. The features include the following: feature commentary with director Iain Softley, deleted scenes, interview with director Iain Softley, stills gallery, interview with actor Ian Hart, director's essay, casting sessions, and TV featurette.
Ian Hart is my favorite actor and this is the role that introduced me to him. Backbeat is my favorite film and I am thrilled with finally having it on DVD. This is a film that you will never forget.
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on March 2, 2000
This movie fascinatingly looks at the Beatles before Brian Epstein came into their lives--when all they had was raw talent, desire, and uppers. It's easy to forget that these great artists were once hungry, greasy punks but that's the truth. They may have cleaned up their act later but this important film shows us the heart they had from the start. It's one of the best movies ever made about rock and roll and what rock meant to the world's greatest band even before they grew into it.
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on April 6, 1999
John, Paul, George...and Stu and Pete? This film chronicles the exploits of the Beatles in their Hamburg days. It focuses on the relationship between John Lennon and Stu Sutcliffe...Lennon lost one of his best friends years before we lost Lennon.
Interesting foreshadowing...Pete Best's initial reaction to Ringo Starr (in real life they were pretty good friends) and some of the arguments between John and Paul.
Overall, the best film on the subject.
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