7.5/10
22,332
126 user 36 critic

Immortal Beloved (1994)

Trailer
2:43 | Trailer
The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Besides all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved, and the movie tries to ... See full summary »

Director:

Bernard Rose

Writer:

Bernard Rose
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Oldman ... Ludwig van Beethoven
Jeroen Krabbé ... Anton Felix Schindler
Isabella Rossellini ... Anna Marie Erdödy
Johanna ter Steege ... Johanna Reiss
Marco Hofschneider ... Karl van Beethoven
Miriam Margolyes ... Nanette Streicherová
Barry Humphries ... Clemens Metternich
Valeria Golino ... Giulietta Guicciardi
Gerard Horan ... Nikolaus Johann van Beethoven
Christopher Fulford ... Kaspar Anton Carl van Beethoven
Alexandra Pigg ... Therese Obermayer
Luigi Diberti ... Franz Josef Guicciardi
Michael Culkin ... Jakob Hotscevar
Donal Gibson ... Karl Holz
Matthew North Matthew North ... Young Karl van Beethoven

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Storyline

The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Besides all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved, and the movie tries to find out who this beloved was--not easy, as Beethoven has had many women in his life. Written by Smoothhoney1265

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some things are for the moment. Some things are meant to last. Some things are... immortal. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Oldman actually played all of the Beethoven pieces he performed in the film. A different musician performed in the official soundtrack. When Oldman learned he would be playing the lead role, he spent six weeks practicing on a Steinway piano for six hours a day in his hotel, and completely immersed himself in the music as his research for the character. In an interview with the South Bank show in 1997, Oldman quoted an article that said "he mimes very well" in the film. He then laughed and said "I'm playing it! I can play that!" See more »

Goofs

In the movie, Beethoven bribes Chancellor Metternich to secure custody of Karl von Beethoven after his brother dies, offering to compose for Austria at the Congress of Vienna. Metternich became Austrian Chancellor in 1821, the Congress of Vienna ended in June 1815 and the legal battle over the custody started only just after Beethoven's brother died in November 1815, months after the Congress had ended. The case was completely resolved by 1820, before Metternich became Chancellor. See more »

Quotes

Ludwig van Beethoven: [sitting secluded in a darkened corner, Miss Guicciardi does not notice him at first] Hello.
Giulietta Guicciardi: [startled, she doesn't realize who she is speaking to] Oh... I didn't see you. I have to go back.
[she turns to leave]
Ludwig van Beethoven: [he gets up] Oh... you are leaving me to go back to that ass who plays like a kitchen maid, all clipped and staccato.
Giulietta Guicciardi: This music is beautiful.
Ludwig van Beethoven: You must be Giulia Guicciardi. I hear there's quite a contest for your charms.
Giulietta Guicciardi: Sir you're rude and offensive. I'm leaving.
[she begins to walk away]
Ludwig van Beethoven: [...]
See more »

Connections

References Barry Lyndon (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Für Elise
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Murray Perahia
See more »

User Reviews

 
Oldman Brings Beethoven To Life
19 March 2001 | by jhcluesSee all my reviews

Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the greatest composers-- some would say THE greatest-- in the history of the world. But what of the man himself? His passions, his loves? The humanness behind the genius? `Immortal Beloved,' written and directed by Bernard Rose, examines the man behind the music in a dramatization focusing on the mystery behind a letter-- written by Beethoven-- found among his effects after his death in 1827. The letter bears no name or address, but was written to a woman to whom he refers as his `immortal beloved,' with nary a clue as to her identity. But in his final will, it is she to whom he bequeaths his estate, and it therefore falls to Beethoven's secretary, Anton Schindler (Jeroen Krabbe), to unravel the mystery and discover her identity. And as Schindler pursues his quest, a portrait of Beethoven, in his most human aspect, emerges. Reminiscent of the approach taken by Orson Welles with `Citizen Kane,' Rose presents a riveting study of the enigmatic genius that was Beethoven. He suggests a man driven by passion and ego, who was under appreciated during his lifetime (as great artists often are), and who grew bitter in the wake of the slings and arrows fate so surreptitiously hurled at him. The great irony of his life, of course, was the deafness that deprived him of the aural beauty of his own creation, an affliction Rose implies was brought about through the brutality of a drunken father who would beat his son about the head and ears (And in retrospect, what a testimony to his genius, that he could write such music in his head without ever hearing an actual note). As Beethoven, Gary Oldman gives an outstanding performance, one for which he should have received acclaim that somehow was never forthcoming. His ability to create a total character, with such incredible emotional depth as he does here, is astounding. It's puzzling as to why so many of his performances are overlooked, especially at Oscar time. Besides this film, consider his work in `Sid and Nancy,' or more recently in `The Contender.' He is simply a tremendous actor who has yet to have his day in the sun. As Beethoven, he so completely immerses himself in the character that his soul is veritably reflected in his eyes. You feel the silent world in which he was confined for most of his life, and it allows you to identify with the inner turmoil with which he had to cope and endure without respite. Most importantly, Oldman makes you feel that unabashed passion that motivated and drove Beethoven on. It's quite simply a remarkable performance. Turning in notable performances as well are Isabella Rossellini, as Anna Marie Erdody, one of the women in Beethoven's life who may or may not have been the one to whom the letter was intended, and Johanna ter Steege, as Johanna, Beethoven's sister-in-law and the mother of his beloved nephew, Karl (Marco Hofschneider). The supporting cast includes Miriam Margolyes (Nanette), Barry Humphries (Clemens), Valeria Golino (Giulietta), Gerard Horan (Nikolaus), Christopher Fulford (Casper), Alexandra Pigg (Therese) and Luigi Diberti (Franz). Beethoven's renown today, of course, exceeds even mythological proportions, which often facilitates the blending of fiction with fact. But with `Immortal Beloved,' whether or not the finer points are historically accurate or not is of little consequence, for at it's heart this is a love story that is engrossing drama that is altogether transporting. It's a memorable film, highlighted by Oldman's performance and, of course, the music. And there are a number of scenes, as well, that are unforgettable and demand mention. One depicting the debut performance of the `Ode to Joy,' and another in which the young Beethoven (played by Leo Faulkner) runs at night through the streets of the city to escape his drunken father (Fintan McKeown), coming at last to a lake, into which he wades to float on his back; and with the camera positioned directly above, looking down upon him, a billion stars are reflected in the water around him. Then slowly the camera pulls back until the young Ludwig blends with the reflected stars to seemingly take his place among all the brightest lights of the firmament. It's a scene that will leave you breathless and remain etched in your memory forever. And it's but one of the more astounding moments from an astounding motion picture that absolutely must not be missed. I rate this one 10/10.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Hungarian

Release Date:

27 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Immortal Beloved See more »

Filming Locations:

Kromeríz, Czech Republic See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$120,108, 18 December 1994

Gross USA:

$9,914,409

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,914,409
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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