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Backbeat (Collector's Edition) (1994)

Sheryl Lee , Stephen Dorff , Iain Softley  |  R |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sheryl Lee, Stephen Dorff, Ian Hart
  • Directors: Iain Softley
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, Digital Video Transfer, Surround Sound, Restored
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Gramercy Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00028HBJI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,527 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Backbeat (Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • A Conversation with Astrid Kirchherr
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Iain Softley Interview for the Sundance Channel
  • Interview with Iain Softley and Ian Hart
  • Feature Commentary with Director Iain Softley
  • TV Featurette
  • Casting Session
  • Director's Essay
  • Photo Gallery

  • Editorial Reviews

    Directed by Iain Softley (K-PAX), Backbeat is an energetic, musical drama chronicling the pre-fame Beatles as they head to Hamburg in search of success. As they gain popularity, the "fifth Beatle," bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff), falls in love and ultimately must choose between his best friend John Lennon, his new love (Sheryl Lee) and the greatest rock and roll band in the world. Full of vitality and heart, with a soundtrack that includes rock classics, featuring music from Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), David Pirner (Soul Asylum) and Mike Mills (R.E.M.), "Backbeat is a thrilling spectacle that rocks the house…Defiant, raucous, erotic." - Rolling Stone

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Fab, mostly February 2, 2005
    Format:DVD
    Universal released the title in summer 2003 and returns with a "collector's edition" at the same price. The main upgrades are Dolby 5.1 audio and an audio interview with Astrid Kirchherr, the German photographer who took the Beatles' first publicity shots. The anamorphic widescreen images (1.85:1) seem about the same as on the 2003 disc, good but sometimes grainy. Other extras, duped from the old DVD, include a director's commentary, a pair of deleted scenes and various interviews that tend to repeat material. Packaging is a lot classier than on the old DVD.

    "Backbeat" takes the time to let its bogus Beatles perform entire numbers, mostly soul covers. The real music came from a "grunge" supergroup put together for the film by producer Don Was. The new 5.1 audio sounds sensational, with a vibrant and musical surround stage.

    Director Iain Softley ("K-PAX") tells how he spent six years researching and writing the project, inspired by stylish photos he saw of Kirchherr and her lover Stu Sutcliffe, the Beatles' first bass player. The "Backbeat" script was based on her recollections; it focuses on the couple and jealous guy John Lennon.

    This might not be a Beatles film, but there's an undeniable thrill when, late in the story, the Paul McCartney character switches to his trademark German bass and the fabled front three wails on "Please Mr. Postman." The film's downer ending gets drowned out by the joys of "Twist and Shout" and the promise of Beatlemania.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars A raw look at the "fab 5" March 7, 2005
    Format:DVD
    Before The Beatles changed the world of music, they were a scruffy rock 'n' roll five piece. Lennon and McCartney were already writing music together but Lennon spent much of his time hanging with fellow artist Stu Sutcliffe. Lennon talked his pal into spending the money from the sale of a painting into buying a bass guitar and suddenly "The Silver Beatles" had a new bassist--albeit one that couldn't play any instrument but that soon changed.

    This terrific film chronicles the early days of the band in Hamburg before they broke it big and the strong friendship of Lennon and Sutcliffe. Ian Hart virtually steals the film from Stephen Dorf (who's also quite good)capturing Lennon's swagger and sarcastic wit in full stride. Directly Ian Softley focuses more on the duo of Lennon and Sutcliffe than the rest of the band chronicling their friendship. Sutcliffe never lived to see Lennon and the rest of the band achieve their dreams of going to the top and conquer the world. It's a fascinating glimpse into the past and it's clear that Softley did quite a bit of research to make this marvelous film. Hart had played Lennon once before in "The House and Times" a film that portrayed a supposed homosexual fling between Lennon and the band's manager Brian Epstein.

    Most of the performances capture the essence of the The Beatles even if they don't always look exactly like the people their playing. The duo Hart and Gary Bakewell at least resemble Lennon and McCartney. While Softley claims he was trying to capture the raw sound of the band in the beginning (which I'm sure he does), my only complaint is that the singers don't sound all that much like Lennon or McCartney. Still, the supporting musicians drawn from members of REM, Afgan Wigs, Nirvana and other groups do create quite a sound.
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    10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars This movie rocked and rolled May 15, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    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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    21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLY A GREAT MOVIE April 22, 2004
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    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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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars If your a beatle fan this film shows the base ...
    If your a beatle fan this film shows the base on which became the iconic band
    Published 1 day ago by Larry Farr
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    EXCELLENT! Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!
    Published 13 days ago by William Boyd
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Excellent movie of the most important stage of Beatles history. The Hamburg days.
    Published 2 months ago by César
    5.0 out of 5 stars I love this Beatle story
    I wish it was possible to stream this film but it isn't. I own the cd now so I can watch it when I want.
    Published 6 months ago by BK
    3.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone
    This is not a film for any Beatles fan who is well educated on the band and the individuals in it. The details are there, however, the execution of the cast is not. Read more
    Published 7 months ago by InstantkarmaBooks&Music
    5.0 out of 5 stars Back in the Days
    Fun and engrossing. Pretty accurate too. Excellent soundtrack. My "friends" borrow it and keep it they like it that much. This is my second replacement. Read more
    Published 9 months ago by William J. Landers
    1.0 out of 5 stars Movie
    Terrible movie. No great story line. Not interesting at all. Turned it off before it was over. Wouldn't watch again.
    Published 10 months ago by S
    5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie
    Really enjoy the history behind the greatest band in history and Backbeat is no exception. The Beatles music will live on forever.
    Published 17 months ago by Stephen Kimbrell
    3.0 out of 5 stars Pete Best is all but omitted
    I don't know if it is because of using his name they would have to pay him or what, but I found it odd that in a documentary of this group that Pete Best was all but forgot. Read more
    Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Early Beatles
    It shows the Beatles before they became famous and how they evolved into the group that would eventallly became the Fab Four.
    Published 18 months ago by Ted Philbin
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