I wrote that it isn't all that great a movie because,
as Gertrude Stein might have pointed out, there's no there there. If
you forget for a moment that the movie is about the Beatles, and
pretend that it's a fictional story about five guys named Schlubb,
there's really no solid reason to watch it, although it still has good
points. Some guys form a band, one guy has to choose between the band
and his art, chooses art, dies at 21. Yawn.
Similarly, if you aren't interested in the Beatles,
and/or don't like their music or their personalities, there's no
compelling reason to watch it.
The movie exists, therefore, for the Beatles buffs
among us. There are many. I am one, and I found it a pleasant
entertainment movie and in interesting bit of education-cum-nostalgia.
DVD info from Amazon
Good, full-featured DVD
full length director's
two interviews with the
an interview with actor Ian
a behind-the-scenes stills
For many celebrities, death was an excellent
- For Elvis, dying saved him from being a fat guy
singing crappy lounge songs in spangled jumpsuits. That awful
image was expunged by his demise, and he was able to go back to being the
handsome, hard-drivin' rockabilly star that he had once been, and to stay in that stage forever.
- For Jim Morrison, death served the same purpose
as Caligula's self-deification. By dying, Jim raised himself far
above the Monkees and the Turtles and the Dave Clark Five and the
rest of the Doors, and made himself part of the Holy Trinity of
Rock with Jimi, and Janis. Mention one of the Three Martyred Jays, and you
mention all three. Jimi, Janis, and Jim.
Stu Sutcliffe was not among the celebs who benefited from death. His death represented the loss
of an exceptional
life at a tragically young age. If you believe the legend, he was was facing a future
of unimaginable promise. He had the choice of being the best-looking
member of the most successful rock group in history, or becoming the
greatest modern painter since Picasso. Instead of being able to live
out either of those dreams, his brain exploded in a massive cerebral
hemorrhage, and he died in a tiny studio in Hamburg. He was only 21
A Sutcliffe biography may be found here.
Backbeat (1993) is a biopic of
Stuart Sutcliffe, one of the five members of the original group
that eventually became the Beatles. He was John Lennon's close
personal friend, and was in the group for a few laughs, and to
help John become rich and famous, but never had much musical
ability, nor did he have the desire necessary to be a successful
musician. His true talent and ambition lay as an artist.
The original group was working
in Hamburg as a cover band in strip clubs when Sutcliffe met the
love of his life, photographer Astrid Kirchherr (Sheryl Lee).
Sutcliffe left the band, as did another original member, Ringo
Starr joined, and they became the Beatles. Sutcliffe achieved
some success as an artist before dying of a brain hemorrhage.
For Beatles fans, this has to be fascinating. It is well
photographed, full of late fifties and early sixties rock and
roll tunes, and has a lot of nudity.
summary. Other critics liked it much more than
our main guys. RT has 17 graded reviews, only 4 of them
negative, and two of those are Ebert and Berardinelli. So,
toss those two guys out, and it's 87% positive!
- The box office was uninspired - about two
million dollars in the UK and another two million in the
|The meaning of the IMDb
score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics,
or a C- from our system.
Films rated below five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one
and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but
will be considered excellent by genre fans, while
C- indicates that it we found it to
be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for
fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is
recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C-
that often, because we like movies and we think that most of
them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know
that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below
Based on this description,
this is a C. Not a great movie, but well worth
the watch if the subject interests you.
Tuna says, "Scoop was correct about the film being not very
interesting to those of us who are not big Beatles fans. I found
it a slow, tedious watch. C."