7.8/10
1,352
25 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:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

, (autobiography: "The Musicians of Auschwitz")
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Popularity
4,085 ( 697)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Alma Rose
...
Mala
...
...
...
...
Paulette
Donna Haley ...
Katrina
...
Charlotte
Mady Kaplan ...
Varya
Will Lee ...
Shmuel
...
Michou
...
Frau Schmidt
...
Marcell Rosenblatt ...
Giselle
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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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Compás de espera  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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

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

Un bel di vedremo
(uncredited)
from "Madama Butterfly"
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Lyrics by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best TV production ever.
3 April 1999 | by See 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.


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