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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 2,687 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 Emmi is buying records from the vendor she asks in German the price of the records. The vendor replies five hundred. He should have said "fünf", five in German. Since she is German there is no reason for the English number. 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

 
What side to take?
10 September 2003 | by (Bay Shore, New York) – See all my reviews

I originally saw the stage play "Taking Sides" by Ronald Harwood on Broadway several years ago. This production starred Ed Harris as the interrogating officer Steve Arnold. The role of Dr. Wilhelm Furtwangler was played by a British actor who was magnificent and unfortunately I am unable to remember his name. The play was not a great success on Broadway for reasons I cannot explain.The entire drama was cast in the office of Captain Arnold.

I personally thought the play was great and the film even better. The reason being that the film was able to portray scenes of Post-war Nuremburg and some vivid concentration camp scenes. (not for the weak of heart) to make its point. Nevertheless as in the stage production, the most vivid scenes still took place in the office of Captain Arnold between him and Dr. Furtwangler. The film roles being played by Harvey Keitel and Stellan Skarsgård. Was the relationship cruel to a point of excess by Capt. Arnold? How true were Dr. Furtwangler's version of life during the Nazi regime. ---??? I wish I could give an answer even to myself--Therefore, no spoiler is possible.

The film raises disturbing questions about the relationship of arts and politics.

As a conclusion, since this was a film with two intensely powerful actors, I would hope to see one or both up for a well deserved Oscar award.


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