7.4/10
2,494
35 user 11 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
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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 Thomson ... Michou (as Anna Levine)
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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite controversy and attempted boycotts, the 3 hour film was the highest viewed program of the week, with 20.4 million American homes watching its debut. 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 »

Quotes

Alma Rose: We must constantly raise the level of our playing, or I really don't know how long they will tolerate us.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Blue Danube
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Arranged by Norman Gold
See more »

User Reviews

 
Shocking... but it happened
24 June 2018 | by EmerencianoSee all my reviews

I don't know how many Holocaust films I have seen in my life, but I know they are still shocking. Shocking to know it all happened! Shocking to know there are still so many people who don't take it as a real fact.

Anyway, focusing on the film now. "Playing for Time", as many others movies, hits us. And not only because of the strong plot, but because of the performance of the cast. And what a cast! I confess I did not know most of the actors, but their talent is undeniable. But - there's no other way to put it - no one works in "Playing for Time" better than Vanessa Redgrave here. She's great!

When I went to IMDb to find out more about the film I saw it was made for TV. I imagine how strong would it be if Daniel Mann and Joseph Sargent had done this for the movie theatres.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 35 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

30 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Playing for Time 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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed