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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 2,558 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

Plot Keywords:

major | nazi | orchestra | german | germany | See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | War

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

| | |

Release Date:

7 March 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Taking Sides  »

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:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

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

Edited into Taking Sides Again (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

2ND MOVEMENT
(from SYMPHONY NO.7 E MAJOR)
Music by Anton Bruckner
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User Reviews

One of Keitel's greatest performances.
7 August 2004 | by (Teaneck, New Jersey USA) – See all my reviews

This is a very moving film--it examines so many issues, The Holocaust, the third Reich, the role of the arts, the moral dilemmas of artists. Stellan Skarsgaard was wonderful, but I was blown away by the power and sincerity of Harvey Keitel's performance. I've been a Keitel fan since forever, and it seems that his range and talent has just deepened. Perhaps the film is correct in implying that Furtwangler did collaborate with the Nazis, and unfortunately could not keep the realms of music and politics separate as he would have wished. Perhaps criticizing him for not leaving Germany was unfair. I compare Furtwangler to Richard Wagner. Wagner wrote the most incredibly beautiful music, which became the theme music of the Third Reich, and was himself a virulent anti-Semite. Can that music be appreciated for its own sake,without all its negative associations? Keitel's performance expressed the outrage of Holocaust victims


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