On June 9, 1804, Ludwig van Beethoven and his pupil Ries assemble a group of musicians to give the first performance of his Third Symphony, 'Bonaparte', to his patron Prince Lobkowitz and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Hanson ...
Wranitzky
...
...
...
Trevor Cooper ...
Otto Fisher
Sarah Ford ...
Frau Fisher
...
Princess Marie Lobkowitz
Victoria Shalet ...
Kirsten
Celina Liesegang ...
Stella
Jacob Engelberg ...
Franz
...
Paul Dorfmueller
Ian Thompson ...
Albrecht Dorfmeuller
...
Count Dietrichstein
...
Gerhardt
...
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Storyline

On June 9, 1804, Ludwig van Beethoven and his pupil Ries assemble a group of musicians to give the first performance of his Third Symphony, 'Bonaparte', to his patron Prince Lobkowitz and his guests, including hypercritical Count Dietrichstein, in Vienna. The piece provokes political arguments among players and audience as to whether Bonaparte is a tyrant, or, as Beethoven believes, a liberator. The composer is also rejected by his former love, the recently widowed Josephine von Deym, though the visiting elder statesman of composers Haydn pays him a strange compliment. Leaving the gathering, Beethoven confesses to Ries that he is losing his hearing and later he reads that Bonaparte has declared himself the French emperor. As a result he will lose all respect for Napoleon and will change the symphony's title to 'Eroica'. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The day that changed music forever

Genres:

Drama | Music

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Details

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Release Date:

4 October 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Eroica - I iroiki symfonia tou Beethoven  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The white muslin dress with yellow overdress worn by the farmhouse servant is the same costume Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) wears during the picnic scene in Sense and Sensibility (1995), and Michelle Ryan wears during the scene in which Sir Thomas asks Maria if she wants to marry Mr. Rushworth in Mansfield Park (2007). See more »

Goofs

Beethoven's assistant was Ferdinand Ries, pronounced "Reese." The name was pronounced correctly in the film but incorrectly spelled "Reis" in the film credits. It was Ries himself who told the story of his incorrectly thinking the horn player came in early. See more »

Quotes

Princess Lobkowitz: [speaking about the Eroica Symphony] Unusual, though, wasn't it?
Josef Haydn: Unusual? He's done something no composer has ever done. He's placed himself at the center of his work. He gives us a glimpse into his soul. I expect that's why it is so noisy. But it is something quite new. Quite new. The artist as hero. Everything is different from today.
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Soundtracks

Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major (Eroica)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner
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User Reviews

 
"Everything's different as of today"
18 March 2010 | by (Canterbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Everything's different as of today" said a weary Josef Haydn, and how right he was.

"Eroica" is the best film about Beethoven that I have seen. OK, I've only seen three others, one of which was made in the 70s and I can't remember the name of that one. The other two were "Immortal Beloved" which was good, and "Copying Beethoven" which was horrendous. What attracted me to this movie was the clever direction and how it was made watchable despite the entire work being played throughout. When I say "despite", don't get me wrong, I'm a composer and I loved the music, but to be able to base an entire film around the complete performance (OK then, a rehearsal) of a particularly long work whilst simultaneously retaining visual and cinematic interest is a tricky task, and the director rose to the challenge magnificently. Ian Hart was convincing (unlike Ed Harris's comically over-acted portrayal, although his makeup was very good) and one of a very professional cast indeed. Isn't Fenella Woolgar gorgeous? Such a sexy nose! And so to the music. What was interesting was the fact that although Elliot Gardiner's soundtrack was obviously not that of which we see, it WAS played on period instruments. The biggest clue being when hearing the valveless horns playing the few notes that were not to be found within the harmonic series (on an Eb crook) sounding a bit flatulent. It also helps to know that John Elliot Gardiner is really hot on period instruments. I personally prefer modern orchestral instruments, but nothing can be taken away from the superb performance by this ensemble. Also the synchronisation must have been extremely tricky because all the musicians in shot were actually playing the music together, whilst acting simultaneously (they would have had to, to gurn their faces like they did as if the music was something completely new, which it so obviously was).

But what really made the movie work was the silent reaction to the music of the surrounding gentry and servants. It really helped to bring tears to my eyes.

A fabulous two hours of my time spent. Heartily recommended!!!


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