Synopsis: A pre-fame Beatles head for the seedy clubs of Hamburg in search of success. The band meet up with a group of trendy German beatniks, one of whom (Astrid Kircherr) bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe falls in love with. Whilst best friend John Lennon can only watch, Sutcliffe has to choose between rock 'n roll and a new life in Germany...
Director(s): Iain Softley
Production: Gramercy Pictures
  Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
100 min

(Drumming from inside club)

(Woman) # Kiss me, honey, honey, kiss me

# Thrill me, honey, honey, thrill me

# Don't care even if I blow my top

# But honey, honey

- # Don't stop

- (Drunken men sing along)

# I'd like to play a little game with you

- # A little game especially made for two

- (Drunk men) # Made for two

# If you come close then I will show you how

# Closer, closer now

- (Man) What do you fancy?

- # Kiss me, honey, honey, kiss me

# Thrill me, honey, honey, thrill me

(Men, drunkenly) # Thrill me

(Singer) # I don't even care if I blow my top

# But honey, honey, don't stop... #

# Don't stop

- Hey, you.

- It's not me, mate. It's him.

Yeah, but you'll do.

- # So settle down and let me teach you how

- You, f*** off.

- # Closer, closer now... #

- What's this?

It's nothing.

- Call that nothing?

- What do you call it?

- Filth.

- That's not filth. That's art.

- He says this is art.

- Call that art?

- Yeah, well...

- That's Nancy. That's my girl.

(Singer) # Don't stop... #

- That's your girl?

- No, never.

She'd never throw herself away

on shite like you.

What did he say?

He says you're too f***ing ugly.

- (Glass shatters)

- # But honey, honey

(Woman) Ow!

(Singer) # Don't stop


# You kiss so well my lips begin to burn

Quick. Let's get out.

#'ve got a lot to learn

- # So hold me close and baby, show me how

- He's over there, on the right.

# Closer, closer now

# Kiss me... #

(Song continues in background)

(Both laugh)

(Long sigh)

All right, lads, a joke's a joke.

Well, here's another joke.

See if you get a laugh out of this.


- (Thuds)

- Aagh!

Get off, you bastard.

- Leave it, will you? Leave it!

- I'll f***ing kill you!

You f***ing killed him.

(Strains and gasps)

- I'll kill you. I'll kill all of you.

- Oh, yeah?

I'm gonna bring a crew down here

and kick the shite out of you.

- (Man in gang) Nancy boy!

- Bastards.

- (Man, distant) F*** off.

- You're all shite, the lot of ya.


You all right, Stu?

Huh... (Sniffs)

How do I look?

Put it this way -

you'll get better, I'll always be ugly.

(Children chattering)

(Record) # I've got a woman...

# They call her Chocolate Brown

# I've got a woman

# They call her Chocolate Brown

# Once she's started lovin'

# Oh, she just won't stop... #


# I got a bright woman... #

You call that art?

It doesn't look a bit like me.

- It's not finished.

- It doesn't look like anything.

# Sweet as she can be...

Stop it.

Stop it, I said, before I get cross.

Look at you, you're a bloody mess.

- (Door opening)

- What?

Cream tea, anybody?

Ask him what he thinks.

- What do you think, John?

- Does that look like me?

- Does it?

- You got the tits right.

- You shag her?

- There's more to life than shagging Celia.

- Sabrina.

- Because I'll shag her for you.

Don't be too shy to ask.

What friends are for.

- What do you think?

- Do you want the truth?


Hanging's too good for it.

- 50 guineas.

- That's cheap.

Don't let it go to your head. It might be ten years

before you sell another one.

Van Gogh never sold a picture in his life.


I like the blonde but I prefer the brunette.

- Blondes have more fun.

- Who says?

- Swedes.

- It's got to look good.

You'll get it for 50, you know.

(Train rattling on rails)

(Bells pealing)

(John) Liverpool. Home of...

(Stu) Liverpudlians.

You know what I like about Liverpool, Mr. Sutcliffe?

No. What is it you like about it, Mr. Lennon?

I was hoping you'd tell me.

I know what Arthur's gonna say.

He's gonna say, "I gave you a chance.

"I put a brush in your hand,

I went out on a limb for you

"and you're tossing it away to play bass

in John Lennon's skiffle band."

Not a skiffle band.

It's a rock-'n'-roll band.

- "I opened doors for you..."

- It's not my band. It's a group.

We're a group. We're in it together.

- He's gonna sh*t himself.

- I like Arthur.

You know, he's all right.

But he thinks art's something

you got to hang on the wall in a pool of light.

It's a disease with him.

He thinks it's all about van Gogh.

- Nothing wrong with van Gogh.

- I had a word with him.

- Did you?

- Bumped into him in The Grapes.

I said, "Vincent, where did it all go wrong?"

- You know what he said?

- What?

He said, "If I could do it all again,

"I'd be up there shaking me bum

doing Blue Suede Shoes.

"It's all dick." That's what he said.

- I gave him your regards.

- Thanks.

You're a painter, Stu.

You are the best I've got.

I'm coming back.

- It's a pisser to throw it away.

- I'm not throwing anything away.

You could teach me a damn sight more

than I could ever teach you.

Arthur, I'm 19 years old.

I've got me whole life.

- And where's it gonna get you?

- Hamburg, for a start.

(Whistles) Take it easy, mate. Put it up there.

(Paul) Hey.

- It's a bit rough out there.

- It's nothing. Bit of a swell, that's all.

- You call that a swell?

- I call it mother's milk.

My dad was a sailor, and his dad.

I'm the son of a son of a sailor.


Mum! Mum!

- Here.

- What is it?

- Scones. I've made you some scones.

- Mum, they've got food on the ferry.

- They haven't got my scones.

- I can't take scones.

If the lads know, I'll never hear the end of it.

- I'm in a rock-'n'-roll group, Mum.

- (Sighs)

So have you ever been abroad before?

Overseas, like?

Oh, aye. Yeah.

Yeah, I've been to the Isle of Wight.

- I'll write.

- You'd better.

Oh, every day. Every minute. Every second.

Now and then would be a start.

You're a tough negotiator, Miss Powell.

(Paul) Come on, George, we're starving.

- There's food on the ferry.

- Where are those scones your mother makes?

All right, lads.

(Ship horn sounds)

Shall we?


Is that right, pal?

You did say your father was a sailor?

(Retches violently)

You did say the sea was in your blood?

- (Silence)

- Sorry? Missed that.

I said...

Oh! Ugh!

You horrible filth.

(As pirate) Believe I'm feeling a shade better now,

but I do believe the captain's

trod on me parrot, sir, arrr, arrr!


# Bright lights

# Big city... #


# Gone to my baby's head

# Oh, bright lights

# Big city

# Gone to my baby's head


# I tried to tell the woman

but she don't believe a word I said

# Go light

# Pretty baby

# You'll need my help someday

# Oh, it's all right

# Pretty baby...

(Car horn)

# You're gonna need my help someday

# You're gonna wish you had listened... #

(Engine rewing)


F***in' hell!

F***in' hell.


- It's only temporary.

- Temporary?

What do you want for nothing?

You Top Ten yet?

You haven't done nothing yet.

People have died in here.

You can smell 'em.

(John) Whole families.

- (German accent) This is them?

- This is them.

- Yeah, we're them.

- This is Bruno.

You are how old?

- 18.

- 18. Everything's cool.

Everyone's 18.

- Lads, this is it. Remember the song.

- (Cheering)

- What's the song?

- (Laughter)

(# Saxophone blues)

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Iain Softley

Iain Declan Softley (born 28 October 1956) is an English film director, producer and screenwriter. His films include Backbeat, Hackers, The Wings of the Dove, K-PAX, The Skeleton Key, and the BBC adaptation of Sadie Jones's novel, The Outcast. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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