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Music Box (1989)

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A lawyer defends her father accused of war crimes, but there is more to the case than she suspects.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Magda Zoldan
J.S. Block ...
Judge Silver
Sol Frieder ...
Istvan Boday
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Melinda Kalman
Magda Szekely Marburg ...
Judit Hollo
Felix Shuman ...
James Nathanson
Michael Shillo ...
Geza Vamos
George Pusep ...
Vladimir Kostav
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Storyline

Hungarian immigrant Mike Laszlo has done well for himself since arriving in the USA over 40 years ago after WWII's end. He is particularly proud of his daughter, Ann, a successful lawyer. Following the release of some secret WWII records by the Russians, Mike finds himself accused of being a notorious war criminal. He's convinced it's a Communist plot to discredit him and insists that Ann defend him in court. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

As a lawyer all she wanted was the truth. As a daughter all she wanted was his innocence. How well do you really know your father?

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

19 January 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mucho más que un crimen  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,381, 22 December 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,263,883
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the movie was released, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas' own father, Istvan Eszterhas, was accused of war crimes in Hungary for printing anti-Semitic editorials, and even organizing a book burning. When Istvan admitted the charges were accurate, Joe responded by publicly condemning his father, and disowning him as a parent, later writing that he never reconciled with Istvan, and refused to let him see his grandchildren right up to the point where Istvan died of natural causes. See more »

Quotes

Jack Burke: You trust your heart, you gonna get it broken.
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Connections

Features A Bird in the Head (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

Holds up a decade later for its fine performances
9 June 2000 | by See all my reviews

Excellent performances by Armin Mueller-Stahl and Jessica Lange (and even Michael Rooker in a thankless role) make "The Music Box" well-worth seeing (and seeing again). I also appreciated Costa-Gavras's establishing shots such as the dizzying image in a large building as Lazlo and his daughter go up an elevator to meet with federal prosecutors, pigeons on the window sill of the court room, etc. I liked the way Chicago and Budapest are used in the movie as two poles of the story. It is true that a few things do not make sense. Ann Talbot (Lange) accuses the US prosecutor (Frederick Forest) of letting the Hungarian government dictate his case, and the US does seem to rely entirely on Hungarian evidence, never bothering to look for any evidence west of Budapest. There is something to be said, however, for the suspension of disbelief. If the US prosecutors were not so incompetent, then it would not be entirely up to Talbot, the moral center of the movie, to uncover the truth and carry the responsibility for it entirely by herself. It is, by the way, the Hungarians and not the Russians whom Lazlo accuses of trying to frame him.


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