7.2/10
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The Harmonists (1997)

Comedian Harmonists (original title)
The film chronicles the rise and fall of Germany's most famous a capella group, the Comedian Harmonists, in 1930s Germany.

Director:

Joseph Vilsmaier

Writers:

Jürgen Büscher (story), Klaus Richter
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13 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Becker ... Robert Biberti
Heino Ferch ... Roman Cycowski
Ulrich Noethen ... Harry Frommermann
Heinrich Schafmeister ... Erich A. Collin
Max Tidof ... Ari Leschnikoff
Kai Wiesinger ... Erwin Bootz
Meret Becker ... Erna Eggstein
Katja Riemann ... Mary Cycowski
Noemi Fischer Noemi Fischer ... Chantal, Collin's Girlfriend
Dana Vávrová ... Ursula Bootz
Otto Sander ... Bruno Levy
Michaela Rosen Michaela Rosen ... Ramona, the Madame
Günter Lamprecht Günter Lamprecht ... Eric Charell
Gérard Semaan Gérard Semaan ... Roman's Father
Rolf Hoppe ... Gauleiter Streicher
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Storyline

Comedian Harmonists tells the story of a famous, German male sextet, five vocals and piano, the "Comedian Harmonists", from the day they meet first in 1927 to the day in 1934, when they become banned by the upcoming Nazis, because three of them are Jewish. Written by Markus Mühlbauer <muehlbauer@ubaclu.unibas.ch>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Eine Legende kehrt zurück. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Release Site

Country:

Germany | Austria

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

25 December 1997 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Harmonists See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

DEM 3,989,063 (Germany), 28 December 1997, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,141, 14 March 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$479,828, 9 May 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With very few exceptions, all vocal performances heard during the movie were original recordings of the 1930's group. The old material was de-noised and digitally enhanced. See more »

Goofs

When the Comedian harmonists hold their concert aboard the USS Saratoga, a parade of ships is seen, with the leading ship being an AEGIS class cruiser. See more »

Quotes

Robert Biberti: What are you talking about? America! This is the world capital of the entertainment. That's the hardest competition. They were just waiting for us. We don't even speak english. Entertainment industry? This is the jungle here. We would be lost. You are crazy. No way.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the movie, before the end credits, a photo of the real Comedian Harmonists is shown. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: The Bill Clinton Interview (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Dinah
Music by Harry Akst
Lyrics by Sam Lewis and Joe Young
Performed by The Revelers (as The Revellers)
See more »

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User Reviews

More than just a film about a group of singers
19 October 1999 | by insomniaSee all my reviews

Taken at face value, one would think that a film about a singing group called the "Comedian Harmonists" in the Berlin of the nineteen twenties, would be dull indeed. Not so.At two and a half hours, not once did my attention wander.The director, Joseph Vilsmaier, does such a magnificent job of telling the story of this very popular, German singing group, that I would have liked to have been there to hear them in person.The hedonism of Berlin in the twenties. The rise of the 'Brown Shirts', the vilification of the Jews, Vilsmaier captures it perfectly, without stooping to mawkish sentiment.Of course, this film is more than just a film about a very popular singing group. It's also about the evils of national-socialism, allowing men like Streicher (one of Hitler's most vicious jew-baiters - even the top Nazis didn't like the man), to grow and flourish. The look of the period is excellent. Each character is deftly drawn, while still not losing sight that primarily,it was a group. There's a wonderful scene towards the end where the 'Harmonists' sing in front of thousands of sailors. Tremendously stirring! One quibble: the Algonquin Hotel in New York, where the Harmonists stay, was not, as far as I know, located down near the Brooklyn Bridge.But that shouldn't detract anybody from going to see this wonderful film.


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