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Music Box (1989)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  January 1990 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,438 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 20 critic

A lawyer defends her father accused of war crimes, but there is more to the case than she suspects.

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Title: Music Box (1989)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mike Laszlo
...
Jack Burke
...
Harry Talbot
...
Mikey Talbot
...
Georgine Wheeler
Mari Töröcsik ...
Magda Zoldan
J.S. Block ...
Judge Silver
Sol Frieder ...
Istvan Boday
...
Karchy Laszlo
Elzbieta Czyzewska ...
Melinda Kalman
Magda Szekely Marburg ...
Judit Hollo
Felix Shuman ...
James Nathanson
Michael Shillo ...
Geza Vamos
George Pusep ...
Vladimir Kostav
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Storyline

Hungarian immigrant Mike Laszlo has done well for himself since arriving in the USA nearly 50 years ago. He is particularly proud of his daughter, Ann, a successful lawyer. Following the release of some secret WWII records by the Russians, Mike finds himself accused of being a notorious war criminal. He's convinced it's a communist plot to discredit him and insists that Ann defend him in court. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

As a lawyer all she wanted was the truth. As a daughter all she wanted was his innocence. How well do you really know your father?

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

January 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mucho más que un crimen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$6,263,883 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Costa-Gavras came up with the film's title; Joe Eszterhas' original screenplay was entitled "Sins of the Fathers". See more »

Quotes

Jack Burke: You trust your heart, you gonna get it broken.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blonde Poison: The Making of 'Basic Instinct' (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

You rock, Mr. Costa Gavras!
15 September 2004 | by (Stoneham, MA) – See all my reviews

Awright, I don't approve of all your politics, Mr. Costa Gavras, particularly in "State of Siege" and "Hanna K.", but in this one you truly excel, both in terms of authenticity and a willingness to stay unprovocative when dealing with a sensitive issue as the Holocaust.

The movie is supposed to have been inspired by the real-life case of John Demjanjuk, an Ohio resident accused of war crimes at Treblinka and Sobibor, extradited to Israel for trial in the mid 80's. The movie even has a brief reference to this Demjanjuk guy when someone tries to pronounce his complicated last name in a conversation with Jessica Lange. Costa Gavras seems to be intrigued by our very perception of the Holocaust and our ambivalent approach toward it. Lawyer Ann Talbot's Hungarian-born father is accused of war crimes, her ex-father-in-law is somewhat scornful towards the inviolability of the Holocaust, and even had drinks with "those monsters" when the West used ex-Nazis as spies against Communism. Not to mention the difficulty of prosecuting war crimes 40 odd years later when justice can be won by either concocted evidence or the cunning of legal argument, and historical truth becomes less important.

The courtroom scenes and dialogues are truly remarkable in their restraint, and give the viewer just enough background as is needed about the atrocities of Arrow Cross in Hungary between 1944 and 1945. Specially the testimony of one Mr. Bodai is awesome, that of man so much ravaged by horror that his delivery is almost a monotone, with little emotional difference between responding a "yes" and a "no".

But it is Jessica Lange that outshines everyone else in performance, may be one of her best ever.


20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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