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Taking Sides (2001)

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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9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Colonel Dymshitz
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Rudolf Otto Werner, oboist
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Schlee, timpanist
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August Zirner ...
Captain Ed Martin
Daniel White ...
Sergeant Adams
Thomas Thieme ...
Reichsminister
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Colonel Green
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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

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Release Date:

7 March 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A torto o a ragione  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$188,952 (USA) (12 March 2004)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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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

Edited into Taking Sides Again (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

2ND MOVEMENT
(from STRING QUARTETS IN C MAJOR, D.956)
Music by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

 
Taking Furtwängler's side

Hungarian filmmaker István Szabó returned to the screen in 2001, with this adaptation of Ronald Harwood's stage play about the controversial case of Wilhelm Furtwängler, the most famous orchestra conductor in Germany during the Nazi regime. A study of opposing points of view on the meaning and value of art, but above all a confrontation of different cultures and world visions. The case is conducted by an American commander, whose vulgarity and narrow-mindedness (with simplistic definitions of right, wrong, democracy, etc., echoing the position of some Americans) is contrasted with Furtwängler's sensibility. Harvey Keitel is an excellent choice for the military, while Stellan Skarsgård brings aplomb and dignity as Furtwängler, who has the support of Keitel's assistants (played by Birgit Minichmayr, and Moritz Bleibtreu of 'Run, Lola, Run' fame.) A short film, considering the length of Szabó's films as 'Mephisto' and 'Colonel Redl.'


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