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Mersey Movies

Posted November 20, 2009 to photo album "Mersey Movies"

FilmInFocus’ Nick Dawson picks out 10 films made in Liverpool that demonstrate the city’s diverse cinematic history.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: The Magnet (1950)
Slide 3: Gumshoe (1971)
Slide 4: Letter to Brezhnev (1985)
Slide 5: Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
Slide 6: Hear My Song (1991)
Slide 7: Backbeat (1994)
Slide 8: Hilary and Jackie (1998)
Slide 9: Formula 51 (2001)
Slide 10: The Parole Officer (2001)
Slide 11: Millions (2004)
Slide 7: Backbeat (1994)

Slide 7: Backbeat (1994)

Though the Beatles never made a movie that was set principally in their native Liverpool (swinging London was the usual location for their antics), the 1990s saw two Beatles-themed movies in short order, The Hours and the Times (1991) and Backbeat (1994), both featuring Ian Hart as John Lennon. The former was shot in Barcelona, imagining a trip taken by Lennon and Beatles manager Brian Epstein, while the latter was mostly about the Beatles' time in Hamburg – and the love affair between original member Stuart Sutcliffe (Somewhere's Stephen Dorff) and a German girl (Sheryl Lee) – but also had scenes in Liverpool. Though Backbeat had impeccable musical credentials (Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner, Nirvana's Dave Grohl and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore contributed to the film), Paul McCartney didn't like it's interpretation of history: "One of my annoyances about the film Backbeat is that they've actually taken my rock 'n' rollness off me. They give John the song "Long Tall Sally" to sing and he never sang it in his life. But now it's set in cement."