Telstar is the true story of record producer Joe Meek, creator of a string of #1 hits in the early 60s including Telstar, the biggest selling record of its time and the first British single ever to top the US charts. Despite his musical illiteracy, Meek
Joe Meek was — sadly, in every sense — Britain’s Phil Spector, helming a string of 1960s bizarro hit records, but trigger-happy with it. Nick Moran’s biopic showcases a superb lead from Con O’Neill, shifting from manic enthusiasm to venomous tantrums which drive away Geoff Goddard (Tom Burke) and Major Banks (Spacey) before the final meltdown. Meek’s hit was the zeitgeist-riding Telstar, but his speciality was the morbid eulogy Johnny Remember Me. Moran plays up his vampirish subject as he wrings sad comedy from Meek’s attempt to turn dim pick-up Heinz (J. J. Feild) into the UK’s Elvis while rejecting The Beatles.
Nick Moran definitely emphasizes certain characteristics of the idiosyncratic producer over others for affect, but this is still as fascinating portraits in parts.