7.7/10
1,517
28 user 10 critic

Playing for Time (1980)

Female prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp (Auschwitz) are spared from death in return for performing music for their captors.

Directors:

Daniel Mann, Joseph Sargent (uncredited)

Writers:

Arthur Miller, Fania Fénelon (autobiography: "The Musicians of Auschwitz")
Reviews
Popularity
3,363 ( 78)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Numbered (2012)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Auschwitz prisoners, both Jewish and non-Jewish, were tattooed with serial numbers, first on their chests and then their left arms. An estimated 400,000 numbers were tattooed in Auschwitz ... See full summary »

Directors: Dana Doron, Uriel Sinai
Stars: Ruth Bondi, Danny Chanoch, Ayal Gelles
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A film about the black-and-white era actress Lída Baarová and her doomed love affair.

Director: Filip Renc
Stars: Tatiana Pauhofová, Karl Markovics, Gedeon Burkhard
The Grey Zone (2001)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Nazi doctor, along with the Sonderkommando, Jews who are forced to work in the crematoria of Auschwitz against their fellow Jews, find themselves in a moral grey zone.

Director: Tim Blake Nelson
Stars: David Arquette, Velizar Binev, David Chandler
Riphagen (2016)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story about Riphagen, a cunning Dutch traitor during WW2 who helped Nazi round up Jews, stealing their treasures for himself. He destroyed Resistance groups, making many who pursued justice after the war look like fools.

Director: Pieter Kuijpers
Stars: Kay Greidanus, Huub Smit, Jeroen van Koningsbrugge
Escape from Sobibor (TV Movie 1987)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

During WWII, the death camp at Treblinka had an escape, causing the Commandant at a similar camp in Sobibor to vow that his camp would never experience the same thing. But those who were ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Gold
Stars: Alan Arkin, Joanna Pacula, Rutger Hauer
Out of the Ashes (TV Movie 2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Based on a true story, this heart-wrenching film follows the journey of Gisella Perl (Christine Lahti), a Jewish-Hungarian doctor who manages to survive Auschwitz. Decades later, she's ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Christine Lahti, Bruce Davison, Jonathan Cake
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vanessa Redgrave ... Fania Fenelon
Jane Alexander ... Alma Rose
Maud Adams ... Mala
Christine Baranski ... Olga
Robin Bartlett ... Etalina
Marisa Berenson ... Elzvieta
Verna Bloom ... Paulette
Donna Haley Donna Haley ... Katrina
Lenore Harris Lenore Harris ... Charlotte
Mady Kaplan ... Varya
Will Lee ... Shmuel
Anna Levine ... Michou
Viveca Lindfors ... Frau Schmidt
Melanie Mayron ... Marianne
Marcell Rosenblatt Marcell Rosenblatt ... Giselle
Edit

Storyline

In World War II, the Jewish French musician and cabaret singer Fania Fenelon Goldstein is sent by the Nazis from Paris to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The guards take her clothing and luggage and they cut her hair very short. One day, when she is very weak, she hears someone asking whether any prisoner could sing Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly and she joins the group of musicians that have been spared from the gas chambers to entertain the Nazis performing music for them. She convinces the conductor Alma Rose to invite her friend Marianne, telling that she would be a talented singer. Along the years of abusive treatment, they survive but losing their dignity. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

30 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Compás de espera See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Szygzy Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbra Streisand was originally offered the role of Fania Fenelon. Streisand resembles the real Fenelon much more than Vanessa Redgrave, who ultimately took the part. See more »

Goofs

Upon joining the camp orchestra, Fania Fenelon (Vanessa Redgrave) is asked by the women's commandant for her shoe size. Fenelon replies with the American shoe size "9", whereas in reality she would have given the European equivalent size of 40. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Trois jeunes tumbours
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Brad Fiedel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An Excellent Movie
3 May 2002 | by Lew GordonSee all my reviews

It has been years since I have seen this on TV. Being Jewish and understanding the holocaust, I love this movie with Vanessa Redgrave. I just wish it came on TV more. The visuals were excellent, the plot very real, and it was an absolute delight to see how well it was portrayed.


13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed