7.9/10
986
22 user 9 critic

Playing for Time (1980)

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

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

, (autobiography: "The Musicians of Auschwitz")
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Popularity
4,480 ( 141)

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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
...
Charlotte
Mady Kaplan ...
Varya
Will Lee ...
...
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

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Compás de espera  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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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

At the end of the film Auschwitz is liberated by British troops. It was liberated by troops under Marshal Koniev of the 1st Ukrainian Front, Red Army. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paradise Road (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Poet and Peasant Overture
(uncredited)
Music by Franz von Suppé
Arranged by Norman Gold
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My comments once again stirred deep emotions for these people
28 June 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the most haunting,soul-wrenching dramas I have ever seen, made much more so because it actually happened! The cruelty & unfeeling actions portrayed by the German officers gave me the feeling that I wanted to scream! It was so gut-wrenching. It is a movie we all should see lest we forget the reign of terror inflicted by the horror's of war.


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