Birth of the Beatles

Date: 1979
Director: Richard Marquand
Production Company: Dick Clark Productions

Stars: Stephen MacKenna, Rod Culbertson, John Altman, Ray Ashcroft, David Wilkinson
Location(s): Hamburg (Germany) Liverpool, London, Middlesex

Region(s): , , ,


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

Additional Information:

Screen shots uploaded by Phil Wilkinson


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If you have any information regarding this film, any of the stills, or even better, some NOW shots please contact us.

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Liverpool's Royal Liver Building leads panoramic shots of the city seen during the titles. Pier Head, Liverpool in Merseyside.

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The tin rooved sheds in the bottom left of the image are on New Bird Street. The shot seems to have been taken from the top of Liverpool Cathedral.

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The Mersey flows in the background whilst the foreground building, formerly a bank, stands on Great George Place.

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As the pan continues Cain's Brewery comes into view in the top left. The white faced building on the right stands on Crump Street and the foreground building is the David Lewis Hostel & Theatre, 'The Davy Lou', which no longer stands.

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It's 1961 and George Harrison (John Altman), Paul McCartney (Rod Culbertson) and John Lennon (Stephen MacKenna) come into shot crossing waste ground. The area was previously occupied by houses on Nile Street and Upper Parliament Street and is now occupied by St. James Road. Cemetery Terrace on Upper Parliament Street serves as the backdrop.

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The Beatles spot 'talent'. Nile Street looking towards Great George Street. In the distance can be seen the bank from image birbe003 on Great George Place. The pub to the right may have been called The Lord Nelson.

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The friends lark about in a back street before George tells them that his Dad has been complaining about their music taking up too much time so near to exams. Given the location of 008 and 009 Neil suggests that this scene is set between Elaine Street and Merlin Street but many of the terraces look similar. (RL)

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In another street, a group of boys play football. Neil Rigby advises that a chap, calling himself "scouserdave" in an archived (2007) forum titled yoliverpool stated that he was an extra on the film. He gives the football knockabout scene as Northumberland Street, Liverpool 8. Neil's image 009n would support this. (RL)

John, Paul and George join in the game.

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Neil Rigby sends this Google Image of Northumberland Street showing the Colemans depository. (RL)

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John skips his art class and the trio head into town. Liverpool Cathedral as seen from Hope Street in L1, and appeared in 'The Magnet'.

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More larking about in the Cathedral grounds. St. James Gardens with the Huskisson Monument in the left background.

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The other two leave John behind.

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John climbs onto a tomb as the three skint youths ponder where they are going.

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Stu Sutcliffe (David Wilkinson) arrives after selling a painting and The Beatles take on another member.

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The foursome aim to go 'to the very top' and set out to an audition. Neil Rigby identifies this as Crawford Avenue L18 and sent 016n in support as the foursome emerge.

When they arrive for the audition they see 'Rory Storm and the Hurricanes' waiting outside the venue.

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Neil Rigby identifies this as Crawford Avenue, L18 close to Penny Lane and supports with this Google Image. (RL)

Rory Storm (Gary Olsen) and Richard Starkey (Ray Ashcroft) wait around with the rest of 'the Hurricanes'.

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Phil Clarke identifies this as Dovedale Towers, a pub on Penny Lane in Liverpool and sent this picture as confirmation. Image copyright Google Streetview.

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After getting a job for £100 a week, John tells his girlfriend Cynthia Powell (Wendy Morgan) that he and the band are going to Hamburg. Strawberry Field, Beaconsfield Road, Liverpool L25, Merseyside.

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Although Cynthia has reservations, John explains that it's a trip of a lifetime.

John, Paul, George and Pete walk past the Top Ten Club on Reeperbahn in Hamburg.

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Mark O'Neill sends this shot of the original location of the Top Ten Club, 136 Reeperbahn. (RL)

The Beatles take in the sights of the city in which they will play.

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Große Freiheit in daylight by Mark O'Neill.

Without a proper contract or anywhere to stay, the band find their destination, the Kaiserkeller, a night club on Große Freiheit in the St. Pauli quarter of Hamburg.

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Next door, to the right, of the Kaiserkeller. Picture from Mark.

Morning dawns after The Beatles are accommodated and play in the Indra Musikclub.

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Mark sends this shot, still no people and one car. (RL)

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Whilst getting paid very little and surviving on cornflakes John, Paul, George and Stu wander the streets of Hamburg.

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When the band return from Hamburg after George's arrest for working under age, John takes a taxi home. Liverpool Cathedral as seen from Windsor Street, Liverpool L8.

The cab stops outside Aunt Mimi Smith's house.

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Neil Rigby finds another one and with the help of Google sends this image. of Brodie Avenue corner with Arranmore Road, Liverpool 18. This also covers 027 (RL)

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John can't open the door and when Mimi lets him in, he asks her to pay the cab driver. See 026n above.

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A depressed Paul sits on a quayside in the docks. Neil Rigby identifies this as Brunswick Dock, Liverpool and sent 030n to support.

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George is just about to walk into view, but it's a better shot without him. Neil Rigby identifies this as Brunswick Dock, Liverpool and sent 030n to support.

Paul is joined by George and the pair decide to go and see John.

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Neil Rigby risks life and limb to send this picture of Brunswick Dock, Liverpool to cover 028 and 029 as well. What people will do for Reelstreets,thanks Neil! (RL)

The band get back on the road and appear at Litherland Town Hall.

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Neil Rigby was not beaten, he established it as Town Hall, Market Square, Staines, Middx TW184RH, courtesy Google. (RL)

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Publicity photographs are taken when the group returns to Hamburg. Unknown location.

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Brian Epstein (Brian Jameson) arrives at the North End Music Store to find fans asking for records by The Beatles. Hope Street at the junction with Upper Hope Place.

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After signing with Epstein, The Beatles make their way to a recording on New Year's Day. Unidentified location.

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After months of failure, Brian Epstien arrives at Aunt Mimi's to tell the band that he has got them a recording contract. See also 026 and 027 (RL)

The fans rebel when Ringo Starr replaces Pete Best as drummer.

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Neil Rigby found the location with the aid of Google and puts it as Wood Street corner with Slater Street, Liverpool 14 (RL)

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Success follows and the 'fab four' are driven to London's Heathrow Airport for a flight to New York. Unknown location.