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Music Box (1989) Poster

(1989)

Trivia

After the movie was released, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas's own father, Istvan Eszterhas, was accused of war crimes in Hungary for printing anti-Semitic editorials and even organizing a book burning. When Istvan admitted the charges were accurate, Joe responded by publicly condemning his father and disowning him as a parent, later writing that he never reconciled with Istvan and refused to let him see his grandchildren right up to the point where Istvan died of natural causes.
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Both Kirk Douglas and Walter Matthau wanted to play the father (Michael Laszlo) and were in contact with director Costa-Gavras. Costa-Gavras also considered Marlon Brando for the part. Instead, he picked Armin Mueller-Stahl, who a couple of years earlier had said he would love to work with him after seeing his movie, Missing (1982), at the theater.
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Joe Eszterhas wrote the screenplay with Jane Fonda in mind to play the female lead. Both Eszterhas and producer Irwin Winkler wanted to cast Fonda but director Costa-Gavras thought that she was too old for the part and cast Jessica Lange instead. Fonda was paid $1.25m in compensation for losing the part.
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Costa-Gavras came up with the film's title; Joe Eszterhas' original screenplay was entitled "Sins of the Fathers".
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One of two films released around 1989/1990 which had a storyline where a woman finds out that her father is a Nazi war criminal allegedly guilty of war crimes. The movies are the Australian film Father (1990) and Costa-Gavras' Music Box (1989). The two pictures are very similar in their story-lines.
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The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Jessica Lange; and two Oscar nominees: Armin Mueller-Stahl and Frederic Forrest.
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