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A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.
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The Anglican Cathedral shown in film was still being built in the 1960's and not completed until 1978. See more »
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 »
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".
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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