7.4/10
1,943
30 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
Popularity
4,865 ( 159)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A biographical film about the black-and-white era Czech actress Lída Baarová and her doomed love affair with one of the Third Reich's most powerful men: the Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels.

Director: Filip Renc
Stars: Tatiana Pauhofová, Karl Markovics, Gedeon Burkhard
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on real events, Francesc Boix is a Spaniard inmate in the Nazi concentration camp of Mauthausen in Austria who tries to save the evidences of the horrors committed inside its walls.

Director: Mar Targarona
Stars: Mario Casas, Richard van Weyden, Alain Hernández
Riphagen (2016)
Biography | 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, Jeroen van Koningsbrugge, Britte Lagcher
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, banker brothers Walraven and Gijs van Hall face their greatest challenge yet when they decide to help fund the Dutch resistance.

Director: Joram Lürsen
Stars: Jacob Derwig, Barry Atsma, Fockeline Ouwerkerk
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
Milada (2017)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The story of Milada Horáková, democratic pre-WW2 Czech politician first arrested and tried by the Nazis during the War and then the post-war Communist government for her refusal to cease her opposition activity and leave the country.

Director: David Mrnka
Stars: Ayelet Zurer, Robert Gant, Daniel Rchichev
Naked Among Wolves (TV Movie 2015)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As WWII comes to an end, a group of Buchenwald's emaciated prisoners risk their lives for the safety of the camp's youngest inmate: a four-year-old Auschwitz-born Jewish prisoner. Is there a future for the Buchenwald boy?

Director: Philipp Kadelbach
Stars: Florian Stetter, Peter Schneider, Sylvester Groth
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A group of people are imprisoned in a rail car bound from Berlin to a concentration camp in 1945.

Directors: Joseph Vilsmaier, Dana Vávrová
Stars: Gedeon Burkhard, Lale Yavas, Lena Beyerling
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A team of secret agents set out to track down the Nazi officer who masterminded the Holocaust.

Director: Chris Weitz
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Mélanie Laurent
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung recounts the horrors she suffered as a child under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge.

Director: Angelina Jolie
Stars: Sareum Srey Moch, Phoeung Kompheak, Sveng Socheata
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live with Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol
The Grey Zone (2001)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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
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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Fania Fenelon was upset over the casting of Vanessa Redgrave due to her support of the Palestine Liberation Organization. See more »

Goofs

When the group of women are getting off the train at Auschwitz, Several Camp officers, are wearing Wehrmacht Officers hats which are clearly visible by the Crests they have on them. The SS hats have the Deaths Head (Totenkopf) symbol. No Wehrmacht Officer has ever been to known to work in any labor or death camp. Most of the regular Wehrmacht (Army) claimed to have had no knowledge about the Death Camps. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Wedding March
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Arranged by Norman Gold
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The best TV production ever.
3 April 1999 | by hooshiSee all my reviews

Firstly I have to say that this is not your usual stereotype Jewish holocaust movie: It goes much, much beyond any ideological rhetoric, to deal with Human condition.However, you have the Concentration Camp as a background for one of the best contemporary playwrights (arguably The best!) to create and develop his masterpiece .It is worthwhile to know that Arthur Miller persisted in his demand to put Venessa Redgrave in the the leading role, in spite of all the threats and protests of JDL.Here, she presents one of her most magnificent performances as an Artist trapped in the most dehumanizing conditions one could imagine.The dialogue is absolutely superb, and the actings are quite decent.A must see.


30 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed