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Birth of the Beatles (1979)

An account of The Beatles during the Hamburg years, their signing with Brian Epstein and their inevitable rise during the early sixties.

Director:

Richard Marquand

Writers:

John Kurland (screenplay), Jacob Eskendar (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen MacKenna ... John Lennon
Rod Culbertson Rod Culbertson ... Paul McCartney
John Altman ... George Harrison
Ray Ashcroft Ray Ashcroft ... Ringo Starr
Michael Ryan Michael Ryan ... Pete Best (as Ryan Michael)
David Wilkinson ... Stu Sutcliffe
Brian Jameson Brian Jameson ... Brian Epstein
Wendy Morgan ... Cynthia
Gary Olsen Gary Olsen ... Rory Storm
Linal Haft Linal Haft ... Agent
Eileen Kennally Eileen Kennally ... Aunt Mimi
Richard Marner ... Club Boss
Alyson Spiro ... Astrid
Nigel Havers ... George Martin
Jackie Fishel Jackie Fishel ... Street Girl
Edit

Storyline

An account of The Beatles during the Hamburg years, their signing with Brian Epstein and their inevitable rise during the early sixties.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

John, Paul, George and Ringo! The first movie to show the way they really were. The fun. The music. The story of the band that changed the world. Re-live it all tonight. Featuring 15 of the songs that made them a legend. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Beatles születése See more »

Filming Locations:

Chelsea, London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dick Clark Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Anglican Cathedral shown in film was still being built in the 1960's and not completed until 1978. See more »

Goofs

In one scene, Stuart Sutcliffe tells John Lennon that he is leaving the band, then shortly after dies of a brain hemorrhage while dancing with his fiancee. The scene takes place in 1961, just before they are set to record backup for My Bonnie. The real Sutcliffe died in April 1962, several months after he left the Beatles. See more »

Quotes

Paul McCartney: Hey, when you're rich and famous, what are you gonna be?
George Harrison: A millionaire.
Paul McCartney: And do what?
George Harrison: Buy a bus for me dad! He's putting his foot down. Wants me working.
John Lennon: Don't be thick! People die here... never knowing if they've ever lived. Well, you won't find me working 9 to 5.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A European version exists, and is a different cut from the American version. The following changes were made to the European version:
  • Some of the dialogue and text in this version is different.
  • The opening narration is now done by a British narrator, with the opening text superimposed on a black screen as opposed to a blue screen.
  • The prologue, which includes John saying that he wants to see Mickey Mouse is omitted.
  • The opening theme song is "My Bonnie" instead of "She Loves You".
  • A scene in an art school with a naked woman is included.
  • The scenes where The Beatles perform at Der Kaiserkiller are longer. They also include two additional song scenes: "Kansas City" and "Shake, Rattle and Roll" (the former has them trip on the stage floor, while the latter has them break it).
  • The scene where they find Stuart badly beaten has extra dialogue.
  • The scene where Stuart and Astrid have their moment in bed together is different. The other version has him showing her her new necklace, while this version, has the two of them making love to each other.
  • John's bedroom scene with Stuart has extra shots of the others in bed.
  • The scene where they first talk to Brian Epstein is a little bit longer.
  • The scene where Brian goes to find The Beatles performing "Love Me Do" at a venue is longer.
  • The scene where Brian goes to tell the Beatles about George Martin and EMI, has him getting out of a taxi.
  • In the scene where Cynthia tell John about expecting a baby, John asks her "What are we gonna call him?"
  • The scene where the Beatles arrive at New York City is longer.
  • The end credits feature "She Loves You", instead of "My Bonnie".
See more »

Connections

Version of Backbeat (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Please Mister Postman
Written by Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland, and Robert Bateman
Performed by Rain (Eddie Lineberry, Chuck Coffey, Bill Connearney, and Steve Wight)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captures the spirit of the Hamburg days nicely
20 November 2009 | by loza-1See all my reviews

There are a number of things that are not correct, although this is not too important since what happened to whom and when is still in dispute. The most blatant liberty with the facts I think is when they start to play at Bruno Koschmidder's Kaiserkeller, when in fact they played at the Indra and moved to the Kaiserkeller later.

I agree with Semprinni20 that the film was biased in favour of Pete Best's version, but if he is the story consultant then I guess he calls the shots. I also agree with Semprinni that the recordings Pete Best plays on say the last word on the subject of why he was fired.

Although the film is not such a lavish production as the later film "Backbeat", I prefer this film because it is more accurate, and because it has a better script with deeper characterisation.

There is plenty in the film that is quite substantial - such as Brian Epstein trying to hide the fact that he has been "queer-bashed," only to find out that the band knew he was Gay all along. Little touches like the band going into a café and ordering "Corn-Flakes mit Milch." My favourite scene, which does have some bassis in fact, is where at an audition Stuart Sutcliffe has just bought his bass guitar but can't play it, so he stands with his back to the impresario and tries faking it, but gets caught. That's rock 'n' roll.

Well worth watching.


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