7.2/10
5,077
92 user 106 critic

The Saddest Music in the World (2003)

Trailer
1:40 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
A musical of sorts set in Winnipeg during the Great Depression, where a beer baroness organizes a contest to find the saddest music in the world. Musicians from around the world descend on the city to try and win the $25,000 prize.

Director:

Writers:

(original screenplay), | 1 more credit »
6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

My Winnipeg (2007)
Documentary | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Fact, fantasy and memory are woven seamlessly together in this portrait of film-maker Guy Maddin's home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Darcy Fehr, Ann Savage, Louis Negin
Careful (1992)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the Alpine village of Tolzbad in the 1800s, the townsfolk talk quietly and restrain their movements lest they incur avalanches. This atmosphere lends itself to repressed emotions - shown... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Kyle McCulloch, Gosia Dobrowolska, Sarah Neville
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

It's time for hockey! There's no telling what will happen when the Winnipeg Maroons' own star player Guy becomes embroiled in the twisted lives of Meta, a vengeful Chinoise, and her ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Darcy Fehr, Melissa Dionisio, Amy Stewart
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Nikolai, a mortician, and Osip, an actor playing Christ in a play, are brothers in love with the same woman. Anna, a state scientist and said woman, is in love with both brothers and ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Leslie Bais, Caelum Vatnsdal, Shaun Balbar
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Guy Maddin reluctantly returns to his childhood home, an abandoned Canadian island, where his parents ran an orphanage. As Guy fulfills his dying mother's request to paint the lighthouse ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Gretchen Krich, Sullivan Brown, Maya Lawson
Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

While their mother is dying in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital, two young children are told a tale by their Icelandic grandmother about Einar the Lonely, his friend Gunnar, and the ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Kyle McCulloch, Michael Gottli, Angela Heck
Comedy | Horror | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A ballet rendition of Bram Stoker's gothic novel DRACULA, presented in a style reminiscent of the silent expressionistic cinema of the early 20th Century. This work employs the subtle and ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Wei-Qiang Zhang, Tara Birtwhistle, David Moroni
Fantasy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Peter Glahn is released after years of incarceration as a political prisoner and is now returning to his homeland, the mythical Mandragora where the sun never sets. On board the ship home, ... See full summary »

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Pascale Bussières, Shelley Duvall, Frank Gorshin
Archangel (1990)
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An amnesiac soldier, seeking his lost love, arrives in Archangel in northern Russia to help the townsfolk in their fight against the Bolsheviks, all quite unaware that the Great War ended three months ago.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Michael Gottli, David Falkenburg, Michael O'Sullivan
Keyhole (2011)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Gangster and deadbeat dad, Ulysses Pick, embarks on an unusual journey through his home.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini, Udo Kier
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A never-before-seen woodsman mysteriously appears aboard a submarine that's been trapped deep under water for months with an unstable cargo. As the terrified crew make their way through the... See full summary »

Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson
Stars: Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Musical mantra derived from machine-gun micro-montage.

Director: Guy Maddin
Stars: Noam Gonick, Caelum Vatnsdal, Simon Hughes
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
David Fox ...
Fyodor Kent
Ross McMillan ...
Roderick Kent / Gravillo the Great
...
Blind Seer
...
Teddy
...
Duncan Elksworth
...
Mary
Jeff Sutton ...
Graeme Valentin ...
Young Roderick
Maggie Nagle ...
Chester's Mother
Victor Cowie ...
Man in Bar
Jessica Burleson ...
Lady's Secretary
...
Boardmember
Edit

Storyline

It's the winter of 1933 in Winnipeg. In honor of Winnipeg being named the sorrow capital of the world for the Depression era for the fourth year running by the London Times, Lady Helen Port-Huntley, the legless owner of Winnipeg's Port-Huntley Beer, is hosting and judging a contest to see which nation has the saddest music in the world, the winner to take home a $25,000 prize. Seeing as to the current Prohibition in the United States, Lady Port-Huntley has ulterior motives for the contest. Father and son, streetcar conductor Fyodor Kent and New York based musical producer Chester Kent, who both have a past connection to Lady Port-Huntley (Fyodor, a WWI veteran and former doctor, has fashioned for her an unusual pair of artificial legs apropos to her business), want to represent Canada and the United States respectively in the contest. Despite Lady Port-Huntley's hatred for the Kent's, she does allow them to do so if only to advance her own priorities. As the contest takes place, the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"If you're sad, and like beer, I'm your lady."

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and violent images | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 May 2005 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

A Canção Mais Triste do Mundo  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,743 (USA) (30 April 2004)

Gross:

$669,128 (USA) (23 July 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Guy Maddin: the hand amputating Lady Port-Huntley's legs. See more »

Quotes

Chester Kent: I just rented a warehouse. I got people lined up to build sets, make costumes. I got musicians, arrangers. But I gotta put out first, or they'll shut me down.
Narcissa: Maybe you should keep it simple.
Chester Kent: America goes simple? That's a hot one. No, it's gotta be vulgar and obvious, full of gimmicks. You know, sadness, but with sass and pizzazz.
See more »


Soundtracks

Lady's Glass Legged Dance
(2003)
Composed and Arranged by Christopher Dedrick
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
10/10
2 August 2004 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

What could only be titled as Cinema of the Ridiculous, Maddin's latest masterpiece, about a no-legged beer queen who hosts a Winnipeg-set competition to see which nation has the saddest music in the world, is filled to the gills with wacky ideas, but the reason it's a great film is because of the heartfelt feeling behind it. Maddin's genuine love for the silent cinema that he emulates (and attachment to the pathetic characters he creates) makes it possible for him to sustain a comic tone without it ever becoming mocking.

Maddin manages to balance the grotesque comic caricature of Mark McKinney as the shady mustached businessman who tries to win the competition, and Maria de Medeiros, who gets life advice from her tapeworm, with the pathetic goth character that's McKinney's brother, who's had to deal with the loss of a son, and the glamorous Isabella Rossellini, who's had to deal with the loss of her legs. (I wonder if the fact that Rossellini lost her legs in a car accident caused by her performing fellatio is a nod to the Myth of Murnau.) There's almost a subliminal melodrama taking place with the theme of loss and hilarious depression (during The Depression). It's an exciting movie visually, but unlike the best of the silents that Maddin loves, it's not poetic in that slow, beautiful way -- it's too fast-paced, kinetic, and rough to achieve any sort of traditional beauty -- but it is a feast. The few scenes of gaudy color -- reds, blues, and odd flesh tones -- are as grainy as the black and white. Maddin is truly one of the most imaginative of directors and he has a firm grasp of the medium. In fact, there is at least one scene of slow, beautiful poetry -- a purely silent moment, near the end, that comes alongside the bloody murder of Rossellini's screams. 10/10


39 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I really disliked this flim efrem-4
Shocked that this film hasn't picked up cult status on dvd. hiiamreallybored
A Gorgeous Film explicit28
dvd transfer tv_eye
soundtrack... fagtastic1980
Question (What did I just see?) pinoy43
Discuss The Saddest Music in the World (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?