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Playing for Time (1980)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Music  |  30 September 1980 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 714 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 8 critic

Female prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp (Auschwitz) are spared from death in return for performing music for their captors.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

, (autobiography)
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Title: Playing for Time (TV Movie 1980)

Playing for Time (TV Movie 1980) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Fania Fenelon
...
Alma Rose
...
Mala
...
Olga
...
Etalina
...
Elzvieta
...
Paulette
Donna Haley ...
Katrina
Lenore Harris ...
Charlotte
Mady Kaplan ...
Varya
...
...
Michou
...
Frau Schmidt
...
Marianne
Marcell Rosenblatt ...
Giselle
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Storyline

In World War II, the Jewish French musician and cabaret singer Fania Fenelon Goldstein is sent by the Nazis from Paris to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The guards take her clothing and luggage and they cut her hair very short. One day, when she is very weak, she hears someone asking whether any prisoner could sing Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly and she joins the group of musicians that have been spared from the gas chambers to entertain the Nazis performing music for them. She convinces the conductor Alma Rose to invite her friend Marianne, telling that she would be a talented singer. Along the years of abusive treatment, they survive but losing their dignity. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amarga Sinfonia de Auschwitz  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Fania Fenelon was upset over the casting of Vanessa Redgrave due to her support of the Palestine Liberation Organization. See more »

Goofs

Dr. Josef Mengele is seen seen wearing the famous 1930s-era black SS uniform with the Red swastika arm band. This is very common mistake in many WW2 films. The Black SS uniforms were discontinued at the start of the war in 1939 and replaced by the Green Grey uniforms seen on the other officers throughout the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 33rd Annual Emmy Awards (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
superb performance by Vanessa Redgrave
2 February 2000 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Playing for Time deserved theatrical release, but as TV fare, perhaps among the finest, ranking up there with The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Being a Jew, I received a lot of flak for applauding Vanessa Redgrave's magnificent performance, but one needs to separate the art from the politics. While physically Ms. Redgrave does not at all resemble the real Fanelon, one can't help feeling that she captured the role. My only criticism is the newswreel type footage used to depict the moving trains. First rate movie


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