53 user 38 critic

Gloomy Sunday (1999)

Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod (original title)
Follows three men who are in love with a most beautiful waitress: An intellectual restaurant owner, a mysterious musician and an erratic businessman; taking place during the WWII.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Joachim Król ...
Hans Wieck
András Bálint ...
Ilonas Sohn
Géza Boros ...
Herr Wieck
Ilse Zielstorff ...
Frau Wieck
Ferenc Bács ...
Júlia Zsolnai ...
Frau des Botschafters
Áron Sipos ...
Arzt (as Aron Sipos)
Ernst Kahl ...
Zeichner Torresz
Jörg Gillner ...
Chefkoch István
Denis Moschitto ...
Lehrling Inas
István Mikó ...


Budapest in the thirties. The restaurant owner Laszlo hires the pianist András to play in his restaurant. Both men fall in love with the beautiful waitress Ilona who inspires András to his only composition. His song of Gloomy Sunday is, at first, loved and then feared, for its melancholic melody triggers off a chain of suicides. The fragile balance of the erotic ménage à trois is sent off kilter when the German Hans goes and falls in love with Ilona as well. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Romance | Drama


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

21 October 1999 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Gloomy Sunday  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,102 (USA) (20 June 2003)


$223,827 (USA) (21 November 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Nazi called Wieck, played by Ben Becker, is a fictionalized SS Col. Kurt Becher, the who was acquitted in Nuremberg of war crimes and who ended up the richest man in Germany. See more »


When the trio goes to a movie theater, they watch a newsreel that declares that the song "Gloomy Sunday" "drove 157 people in Hungary to suicide in the past eight weeks." We don't know whether that statement ever actually appeared in a German newsreel during the war. In any event, there is no evidence that the song ever actually drove more than a handful of people--if any--to suicide. See more »


László: Everyone would like it all: something for the body, something for the soul. Something that fills you up, something that makes you hungry.
See more »


Polonaise in A Major, Op. 40 No. 1
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
[Played at her birthday]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Surprise, surprise - this is good!
21 November 1999 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

I did not necessarily expect this to be a real good movie. Stories taking place during the Nazi regime and WW2, especially when made by Germans, sometimes tend to be ultra-politically-correct. But, surprise, surprise. Rolf Schübel's first feature (he did documentaries before) uses backdrop of Nazi-occupied Budapest to deliver a meaningful "menage-a-quatre", wrapped in a free interpretation of creation of famous suicide hymn "Gloomy Sunday". Fine acting all over the place, especially by Krol and Becker (still brave in German moviemaking to show a Nazi not as a complete monster, even if he is, after all, the bad guy), and despite the overall sad story executed surprisingly lighthanded. Drama, a touch of humor, some suspense and even some sex (however, the latter seems to be unnecessary sometimes - it would have worked without or with less). Not to be forgotten: excellent soundtrack album, including several versions of "Gloomy Sunday". Definitely one of the best German movies of 1999.

32 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Music/song question thecrux-1
Who was the father of Ilona'a child erosenbaum-1
Original song!? kazzpuhr86
who is the father? coatguy
Why?! jamipen
Lyrics from the actual song in the movie, help! marlenrf
Discuss Gloomy Sunday (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: