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Telstar [DVD]

Con O'Neill , Kevin Spacey , Nick Moran    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
Price: £3.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Con O'Neill, Kevin Spacey, Pam Ferris, James Corden, Tom Burke
  • Directors: Nick Moran
  • Writers: Nick Moran, James Hicks
  • Producers: Adam Bohling, Simon Jordan, David Reid
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Koch Media
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Sep 2009
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026ZPKTS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,170 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Set against a backdrop of early 60's London, Telstar is the story of the world's first independent record producer, Joe Meek. A maverick genius who enjoyed phenomenal early success with Telstar - the biggest selling record of its time - before bad luck, depression, heartbreak and paranoia forced him into murder and suicide. A gay, amphetamine addicted, talented but deeply troubled soul, Meek dabbled in the occult. He is already an iconic figure in the world of British pop. Far from being a maudlin tale, this stranger than fiction true story is a satirical comic drama revealing the many sides of Joe Meek, a man who is now revered as a pioneer in the field of popular music.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before the Beatles... 25 Jun 2009
The slickness of the music industry nowadays makes this film all the more fascinating, revealing as it does that Britain's most successful instrumental single (the Telstar of the title), one of the first British number one records in America, was recorded in a seedy little flat above a leather goods shop by the somewhat unbalanced Joe Meek.

Meek was a pioneer, a maverick and clearly rather unhinged. Con O'Neal's superb performance with its quirky Gloucester accent provokes fear and pity in equal amounts, but you can't help admiring Meek's energy and ideas. It all ends rather horribly but I won't reveal too much if you don't know the story.

It is the little details that fascinate. Without Meek, we wouldn't have heard Johnny Remember Me, Have I the Right?, Just Like Eddie or that Screaming Lord Sutch shocker Jack the Ripper (Sutch's life, like Meek's, ended tragically). However, this didn't stop him turning down The Beatles and Tom Jones! While his lover Heinz crashed and burned, many of his session musicians went on to greater things. Clem Cattini (played here by the ever-amusing James Corden) went on to drum on countless chart-toppers, Ritchie Blackmore went on to form Deep Purple and, perhaps most endearingly, Chas Hodges, portrayed by Ralf Little, is seen complaining about having to do 'novelty records' which is so much funnier when you realise that he went on to be half of Chas 'n' Dave!

An excellent recreation of a bygone time and bygone tunes. All this and Kevin Spacey too!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 22 Jun 2009
I saw this film at the cinema yesterday and i was blown away. I had been anticipating its release for a while as i wanted to see how they would convert Joe Meeks life story to the big screen, plus the fact i'm a fan of the majority of music orientated films.

Con O'Neill plays independant record producer Joe Meek. The film documents his rise to fame through 60s Tornados Hit 'Telstar', then his fall into depression, paranoia, heartbreak, poverty and ultimatley murder and suicide. As dark as all that sounds, Nick Moran has created a beautiful mix of satirical comedy and drama, keeping you hooked for the duration.

Many familiar faces new and old appear in the cast, including Kevin Spacey (Major Banks), Pam Ferris (Meek's landlady) and JJ Field (Meek's love interest Heinz Burt). With notable British comedy actors James Corden (Clem Cattini) and Ralf Little (Chaz Hodges), and an added cameo appearance from Jimmy Carr. Music fans will have noticed Caral Barat (The Libertines) and Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) also taking minor roles as other notable musicians of the 60s, Gene Vincent and Screaming Lord Sutch. Jess Conrad, John Layton, Chas Hodges and Clem Cattini appear in cameo roles as well.

The acting is superb as is the soundtrack. I urge you to buy this DVD, if you are interested in Joe Meek or the uncredited geniuses who work behind the scenes of those hit tracks or infact just music, it is a must buy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Because Genius Comes At A Price. 4 Jan 2010
I wasn't sure what to expect from this, given the wildly differing comments from critics/fans/associates etc. but having finally watched it after getting it for Christmas I'm firmly with those who reacted positively. 'Telstar' is a brilliant film, perfectly capturing the era and look of the period, and bringing Joe Meek to life more than a fan could wish for. The story of Joe's life is pretty well known- how a country boy from Newent, Gloucestershire created sounds far beyond what anyone had ever heard before from a dingy first floor flat above a leather goods shop on London's Holloway Road, with home-made equipment and a whole lot of imagination, before descending into near insanity and a tragic, messy demise. The film was adapted and directed by Nick Moran from his own, very well-received stage play and crucially transports the lead actor- Con O'Neill- from the stage to the movie adaptation. The plaudits showered on O'Neill are well deserved, as he is simply magnificent. The volatile personality and violent mood swings of Joe Meek are conveyed brilliantly, by turns humourous, tender, histrionic and outright deranged, it's a huge challenge to pull off with conviction but O'Neill carries it off superbly. The supporting cast also acquit themselves well, with the likes of Kevin Spacey and Pam Ferris excellent as usual, good support from Ralf Little (Chas Hodges) and lesser known actors like JJ Feild (Heinz),and Tom Burke (Geoff Goddard) also impressing. Even James Cordern (who i'm not a fan of), scores highly as drummer Clem Cattini. Several of Joe's former artists crop up in bit parts, notably Jess Conrad, John Leyton and Chas Hodges- whose altercation with Meek is brief but hilarious. The big criticism of the film is the totally unfair and untrue portrayal of Heinz. Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Britain's Phil Spector... 6 Dec 2009
By G. E. Harrison TOP 500 REVIEWER
I can't say that I was a big fan of Joe Meek's music but you can't take away his achievements working from makeshift premises with bits and pieces of cobbled-together equipment. There haven't been many good films about the British music scene but this film is an excellent memorial to Joe and also a great snapshot of British rock and roll in the late 50s/early 60s. As the film explains tragically Joe never got the recognition that he deserved and also never got the money he was owed for 'Telstar'. Con O'Neill is superb as Meek, portrayed as a character without many redeeming features but who you still end up sympathetic to. Kevin Spacey is surprisingly good as an English major and Pam Ferris, James Horden, Ralf Little, JJ Field and Tom Burke are all excellent as Meek's various associates.

The film looks great, perfectly capturing that down-at-heel sleaziness of the late 50s and early 60s and I think that the costumes in particular were very well done. I also think that this was a much better and truer film than the feel-good 'The boat that rocked' and that it not only tells the story of Joe Meek but also comments on the role of the individual versus the big corporations and on the law's ridiculous attitude to homosexuality at the time. An excellent British film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, difficult but worth staying with to the end....
This is a very quirky film; whether you like it or not, really depends on the mood you are in. In my view it's worth seeing twice before you make up your mind. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Mr. A. R. Jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic true story. Excellent production. Speedy delivery.
Published 1 month ago by Chrismack
5.0 out of 5 stars great film
a great film , a sad ending , but captavating and so funny
Published 1 month ago by david wall
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see
I absolutely adore this film. A stellar performance from Con O'Neill in the role of Joe Meek had me riveted and fully believing that I was actually a fly on the wall of his life. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sally roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick delivery but unable to watch in the States without a PAL...
I got the DVD promptly. When I tried playing it on my DVD player, I discovered that it was necessary to play it on a PAL compatible player, and that's not what we have here in the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sarah Aboulafia
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased.
Great film and performances. Very true to actual events.
Published 2 months ago by Monter
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love my Telstar DVD,everything the seller said brand new & dispatched delivered as said. thanks.
Published 2 months ago by Chloe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Published 3 months ago by miss g nutt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A++++++. anytime again
Published 3 months ago by Glenn Stuart Rasmussen
5.0 out of 5 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Published 3 months ago by Huntana
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