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Taking Sides (2001)

 |  Drama, Music, War  |  7 March 2002 (Germany)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,711 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 39 user | 39 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the controversial Nazi era. One of the most spectacular ... See full summary »

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Title: Taking Sides (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Lt. David Wills
Birgit Minichmayr ...
Emmi Straube
...
Helmut Alfred Rode, 2nd violinist
Oleg Tabakov ...
Colonel Dymshitz
Hanns Zischler ...
Rudolf Otto Werner, oboist
...
Schlee, timpanist
...
August Zirner ...
Captain Ed Martin
Daniel White ...
Sergeant Adams
Thomas Thieme ...
Reichsminister
...
Colonel Green
...
Major Richards
Robin Renucci ...
Captain Vernay
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Storyline

A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the controversial Nazi era. One of the most spectacular and renowned conductors of the 30s, Furtwangler's reputation rivaled that of Toscanini's. After the war, he was investigated as part of the Allies' de-Nazification programme. In the bombed-out Berlin of the immediate post-war period, the Allies slowly bring law and order--and justice--to bear on an occupied Germany. An American major is given the Furtwangler file, and is told to find everything he can and to prosecute the man ruthlessly. Tough and hard-nosed, Major Steve Arnold sets out to investigate a world of which he knows nothing. Orchestra members vouch for Furtwangler's morality--he did what he could to protect Jewish players from his orchestra. To the Germans, deeply respectful of their musical heritage, Furtwangler was a demigod; to Major Arnold, he is just a lying, weak-willed Nazi. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

7 March 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A torto o a ragione  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$22,051 (USA) (5 September 2003)

Gross:

$188,952 (USA) (12 March 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Major Arnold is listening to the recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, the record finishes the first movement and carries straight on to the second. Long playing albums, which ran at 33 1/3 rpm, were introduced in 1948, but the record shown is a 78 rpm one. The performance of the 5th Symphony would have been on a set of five 78 rpm records, one movement each, split over the two sides. It should not be possible for the second movement to start without the record being changed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Schatten und Licht - Ken Adam, Filmarchitekt (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

2ND MOVEMENT
(from SYMPHONY NO.7 E MAJOR)
Music by Anton Bruckner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Questioning the motives of those in power.
18 March 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Harvey Keitel plays Major Steve Arnold, a small man in insurance, from New York. Stellan Skarsgård plays Furtwängler, a genius who was loved and courted by the Nazis.

The Major pursues Furtwangler like a rabid dog, determined to show that that Furtwangler was guilty of something.Why didn't Furtwangler leave when he had the chance? Did he seek out accolades from the devil?

Why is Major Arnold so Angry? It it the anger of a small man who feels spat upon by life, suddenly given the chance of bring down someone once so High and Mighty?

FurtWangler is aloof, distant, full of easy platitudes about the redemptive quality of Art. Major Arnold is mean and streetwise, quick to attack and condemn those who he does not understand.

Who is in the wrong? In the end does it mean anything to believe you are right? In whose eyes anyway? This film asks some difficult questions about how we perceive ourselves and others, how we question our most basic motives. Very Good.


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