Music of the Heart (1999)

PG  |   |  Drama, Music  |  29 October 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 9,507 users   Metascore: 54/100
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Story of a schoolteacher's struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Dinhofer ...
Lexi at 5
Nick at 7
Robert Ari ...
Brian Turner
Taxi Driver
Principal Janet Williams
Dennis Rausch
Barbara Gonzalez ...
Janet's Secretary
DeSean at 11
Victoria Gómez ...
Lucy at 10 (as Victoria Gomez)
Bongo Kid
Justin 'DJ' Spaulding ...
Naeem Adisa at 9 (as Justin Spaulding)
Zoe Sternbach-Taubman ...
Guadalupe at 9


The true story of a young teacher who fights against the board of education in her bid to teach underprivileged kids in a Harlem school the beauty of music through the violin. In her struggle she loses everything as the system comes down on her with all their might but her determination for the kids happiness helps her to battle back with wonderfully inspirational results. Written by Kryp <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She gave them a gift they could never imagine. They gave the system a fight it would never forget.


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

29 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

50 Violins  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,653,281 (USA) (29 October 1999)


$14,849,583 (USA) (14 January 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The third collaboration between Wes Craven and actress Angela Bassett, who played Janet Williams. She appeared on the show Nightmare Cafe (1992), also created by Craven, and she was the lead female character in Vampire in Brooklyn (1995). See more »


In one of the classroom scenes early in the movie, Streep is shown wearing boots; when the camera comes back to her later in the same scene, she's wearing shoes instead. See more »


Isabel Vasquez: [approaching Roberta who is sitting on a bench by herself at lunch after being shunned by other teachers] What's the matter? You got cooties or somethin'?
Roberta Guaspari: Oh, apparently.
Isabel Vasquez: Well, I'll take my chances. Isabel Vasquez, second grade.
Roberta Guaspari: Roberta Guaspari, I'm ...
Isabel Vasquez: The violin teacher. I know.
Roberta Guaspari: So is it my imagination, or does *everybody* here hate me?
Isabel Vasquez: Look, it's hard to fit in when you're doing a special program. People figure you're not gonna be here very long, so they don't make the effort. It may take a ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Please support arts and music education. See more »


Referenced in Marci X (2003) See more »


Orange Blossom Special
Performed by Mark O'Connor & Young Musicians Foundation
Written by Ervin T. Rouse (as Ervin T. Rose)
Arranged by Charles A. Hall
By Arrangement with Universal Special Markets
Courtesy of MCA Music Publishing
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User Reviews

Inspiring, Heart-warming Film Thanks To Meryl Streep
22 November 1999 | by (Brea, Ca. USA) – See all my reviews

Meryl Streep was made for the part of Roberta Guaspari, a woman who is convinced she can teach ghetto chidren to play the violin, one of the most difficult of all instruments to learn. Against all odds, she perseveres to convince the parents of the valuable lessons that can be learned through music. If you liked Mr. Holland's Opus, chances are that you will love Music of the Heart. Meryl Streep makes this movie work although she gets some acting help from Aidan Quinn, Angela Bassett and Cloris Leachman. Even though it is a little overly dramatic at times, it still touches you with its message and its spirit.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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