Backbeat

Date: 1994
Director: Iain Softley
Production Company: Channel Four Films, Fortbeam, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Stars: Stephen Dorff, Sheryl Lee, Ian Hart, Gary Bakewell, Chris O'Neill, Scot Williams
Location(s): Flintshire (Wales), Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein (Germany), London, Merseyside

Region(s): , , ,

Storyline:

A dramatisation of the Beatles’ early days in Hamburg.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson

 

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As the titles are shown, images of the docks taken from a Liverpool Overhead Railway train are seen.

The Anchor pub, where John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe are about to leave as a group of men try to start a fight. Cheney Road facing Battle Bridge Road in London NW1 with The German Gymnasium to the left. The location was seen in 'Chaplin', 'Nuns on the Run' and 'The Ladykillers'.

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Now named the "German Gymnasium" and not a gas holder in sight. (RL)

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Outside the pub, the men catch up with the two friends and beat them up, throwing Stuart against a wall.

Inside the art college where the two are students, John meets up with Stuart as he finishes work on a painting.

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Neil Rigby places this as Gambier Terrace, Liverpool 1 and supports with this Google View. (RL)

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Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff) and John Lennon (Ian Hart) enter Hessy's music shop on Stanley Street and a guitar is bought. Jeff Williams advises that the shop is on Lark Lane in Aigburth, Liverpool 17 and the building still stands.

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Looking out over the Mersey, the mates talk about Lennon's rock band. Neil Rigby places this as Christ Church, Linnet Lane, Toxteth Park, Liverpool L173BG (RL)

The decision is made and Stuart tells his art teacher that he's leaving the college to join the group.

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Neil Rigby provides this Google View of the Belem Tower, Aigburth Drive, Liverpool L17 (RL)

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At the docks, Mrs. Harrison (Freda Kelly) says goodbye to her son George (Chris O'Neill). The ship is Mona's Queen, launched in 1971 and owned by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company until 1995. They'll not get to Hamburg on that one!

Shots of Hamburg are seen as the band arrive in Germany. To the left stands St. Pauli Theater and to the right is Polizeikommissariat 15 on the corner of Reeperbahn and Davidstraße in Hamburg 20359. The area was seen in 'The Odessa File'.

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Mark O'Neill confirms that it is all very much the same. (RL)

A fight outside Café Keese is watched as the boys' camper-van drives through the streets. Reeperbahn, Hamburg in Germany.

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No fights while Mark is around! (RL)

The Beatles arrive at Bambi Kino, the small cinema where they would live in a back room for the next three months.

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Mark advises that the mock up of "Bambi Kino" was at Gruenspan, 58 Grosse Freiheit. (RL)

The band get out of the camper. In reality, the cinema was at Paul-Roosen Strasse 33, Hamburg 22727.

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Mark sends this further shot of the filming location at Gruenspan, 58 Grosse Freiheit. (RL)

The Kaiserkeller, where inside, The Beatles play their first gig. Große Freiheit, Hamburg.

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Now from Mark O'Neill. (RL)

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After the boys meet Astrid Kirchherr, she takes them to Bar Enfer.

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Astrid Kirchherr (Sheryl Lee) leads Stuart and the band into the bar.

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When John storms out of Bar Enfer after venting his feelings on Stuart, Paul follows.

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Paul catches up with John.

Pete Best (Scot Williams), John, Paul McCartney (Gary Bakewell), Stuart and George are photographed by Astrid. Neuerwegsbrücke looking towards Pickhuben in the Port of Hamburg. Identified with assistance from Neil Reynolds.

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Too much traffic for anyone to pose for Mark. (RL)

More artistic pictures are taken. Facing the rear of warehouse Block O on Am Sandtorkai from Neuerwegsbrücke in Die Speicherstadt in Hamburg.

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......and risk being arrested? Mark captures the scene alone. (RL)

Looking east from Neuerwegsbrücke with Am Sandtorkai to the right. Located with the help of Neil Reynolds.

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Mark again captures the location without posers. (RL)

Outside entrance 3 of Block R on St. Annenufer, Hamburg 20457.

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Mark captures the same place without a group but with those almost obligatory parked cars. (RL)

Stuart is invited to Astrid's house to view the photographs.

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Neil Rigby sends a Google Earth shot to support his identification as Innocentiastraße looking to Brahmsallee and Innocentiapark, Hamburg. (RL)

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The address is found. Found by Neil Rigby as well, Hagendornstraße, Hamburg. (RL)

The camera tilts up as Stuart rings the doorbell.

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Neil always likes to prove his point, but the house is censored at street view level, so this shot is the property that can be seen to the left.... plus a bit of blur. Courtesy Google. (RL)

After Stuart sees the photos, they are taken to Polydor as publicity shots for the forthcoming record.

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Günter filmed the demolition of the background building in Bernhard Nocht Str. back in February 2012 and sends this screen shot from it. Right place, right time even if he was meant to be there. (RL)

Astrid and Stuart spend the day together as the rest of the band record their record. Mark O'Neill locates this as Dock 11 in Altona Fischmarkt in Hamburg.

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Mark also captured the location now. Dock 11 is a mobile dock has been shifted to the right so the backround doesn't quite match up and there is an additional floating platform now in this shot.

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As the relationship grows, Astrid tells Stuart that she loves him.

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Police escort the lads to Hamburg station when they are all deported because George is under age. Lübeck Hauptbahnhof, Lübeck 23558, Schleswig-Holstein.

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Stuart waves back as Astrid as she watches the train depart for the Hook of Holland. Lübeck Hauptbahnhof playing Hamburg Hauptbahnhof. The station was reconstructed between 2003 and 2008.

December 1960 and the boys are back in Liverpool.

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A Google Image from Neil Rigby of Falkner Street, Liverpool 8. (RL)

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Paul works as a delivery man, Stuart returns to painting and the band play at The Cavern.

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After George turns eighteen, The Beatles return to Hamburg. Lübeck Hauptbahnhof on Am Bahnhof in the city of Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

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After Stuart resumes his romance with Astrid, he tells John that he doesn't want to play in a rock and roll band for the rest of his life.

John remarks that Astrid will get bored with him as Stuart heads to meet her.

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Mark O'Neill used Google Streetview to find this location and remarks the "I thought I was going mad until I noticed the Streetview was from 2007! The 'Kino' on Bernhard-Nocht-Straße is now a nice block of appartments".

An argument starts and the two end up fighting.

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Looking east up Bernhard-Nocht-Straße to the right of image back030n. Found by Mark.

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John looks over at his best friend before walking away.

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After suffering a crippling headache at a party, Stuart leaves Dr Gelegt's clinic.

Outside the clinic, Stuart gets into the car where Astrid is waiting. Isestraße at the junction with Innocentiastraße in the Hoheluft area of Hamburg with U-Bahn Line 3 passing overhead.

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Mark visits the location and finds yet more cars. (RL)

When his paintings are seen, Stuart is accepted by Paolozzi into the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg. Hochschule für bildende Künste, Lerchenfeld, Hamburg 22081.

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Mark visits on a day when no one is accepted. (RL)

Running through the park, Stuart heads to break the news to Astrid before telling John, who's girlfriend Cynthia Powell has travelled to Hamburg to join him.

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Mark shows that little has changed. (RL)

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Stuart and Cynthia (Jennifer Ehle) tend to the fire after the two couples spend a day at the beach. Point of Ayr Lighthouse on Talacre Beach at the mouth of the Dee estuary in Flintshire.

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John and Astrid break into the lighthouse. Point of Ayr Lighthouse near Talacre in Flintshire, Wales.

The Beatles leave Hamburg after Stuart leaves the band, choosing to stay with Astrid.

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Mark took this shot looking west along Bernhard-Nocht-Straße.

Stuart watches the taxi drive away.

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The property on Bernhard-Nocht-Straße has been demolished. Was the 'Washington Bar' in this building as advised by Günter? There is still a building further to the left called the 'Washington Bar'! Picture and information from Mark O'Neill.

Another shot of Bernhard-Nocht-Straße.

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Günter sends this further screen shot from his 2012 demolition film of the structure adding that the 'Washington Bar' was in this building.

An establishing shot of Liverpool Airport, formerly known as Speke Airport and renamed John Lennon Airport in 2002.

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Neil Rigby sends this Google Image of what is now known as The Crowne Plaza Liverpool John Lennon Airport Hotel, L248QD. (RL)

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Following a string of hits, The Beatles head back to Hamburg where Astrid breaks the news that Stuart had died of a brain hemorrhage. John Lennon Airport, Speke Hall Avenue, Liverpool in Merseyside. Neil Rigby advises that the building in the background is now known as The Crowne Plaza Liverpool John Lennon Airport Hotel.

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