7.8/10
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60 user 41 critic

The Piano Player (1999)

Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod (original title)
Not Rated | | Romance, Drama | 21 October 1999 (Germany)
Follows three men who are in love with a most beautiful waitress: An intellectual restaurant owner, a mysterious musician and an erratic businessman; taking place during the WWII.

Director:

Rolf Schübel

Writers:

Ruth Toma (screenplay), Rolf Schübel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Erika Marozsán ... Ilona / wife
Joachim Król ... László / husband
Ben Becker ... Hans / SS soldier
Stefano Dionisi ... András / pianist
András Bálint András Bálint ... Ilonas Sohn
Géza Boros Géza Boros ... Geigenspieler
Rolf Becker ... Herr Wieck
Ilse Zielstorff Ilse Zielstorff ... Frau Wieck
Ferenc Bács Ferenc Bács ... Botschafter
Júlia Zsolnai Júlia Zsolnai ... Frau des Botschafters
Áron Sipos Áron Sipos ... Arzt (as Aron Sipos)
Ernst Kahl Ernst Kahl ... Zeichner Torresz
Jörg Gillner Jörg Gillner ... Chefkoch István
Denis Moschitto ... Lehrling Inas
István Mikó István Mikó ... Kartoffelhändler
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Storyline

Budapest in the thirties. The restaurant owner Laszlo hires the pianist András to play in his restaurant. Both men fall in love with the beautiful waitress Ilona who inspires András to his only composition. His song of Gloomy Sunday is, at first, loved and then feared, for its melancholic melody triggers off a chain of suicides. The fragile balance of the erotic ménage à trois is sent off kilter when the German Hans goes and falls in love with Ilona as well. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Romance | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film has been running daily at the Academy Arts Centre Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand since 2001 - and you still have book in advance because it is sold out (it's shown in a small 11-seat theatre). See more »

Goofs

When the trio goes to a movie theater, they watch a newsreel that declares that the song "Gloomy Sunday" "drove 157 people in Hungary to suicide in the past eight weeks." We don't know whether that statement ever actually appeared in a German newsreel during the war. In any event, there is no evidence that the song ever actually drove more than a handful of people--if any--to suicide. See more »

Quotes

László: Everyone would like it all: something for the body, something for the soul. Something that fills you up, something that makes you hungry.
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Connections

Featured in Die Männer vom K3: Jugendliebe (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Csak Inni, Inni
("Immer nur trinken")
Music and Lyrics by Rezsö Seress
See more »

User Reviews

 
Surprise, surprise - this is good!
21 November 1999 | by PuckiSee all my reviews

I did not necessarily expect this to be a real good movie. Stories taking place during the Nazi regime and WW2, especially when made by Germans, sometimes tend to be ultra-politically-correct. But, surprise, surprise. Rolf Schübel's first feature (he did documentaries before) uses backdrop of Nazi-occupied Budapest to deliver a meaningful "menage-a-quatre", wrapped in a free interpretation of creation of famous suicide hymn "Gloomy Sunday". Fine acting all over the place, especially by Krol and Becker (still brave in German moviemaking to show a Nazi not as a complete monster, even if he is, after all, the bad guy), and despite the overall sad story executed surprisingly lighthanded. Drama, a touch of humor, some suspense and even some sex (however, the latter seems to be unnecessary sometimes - it would have worked without or with less). Not to be forgotten: excellent soundtrack album, including several versions of "Gloomy Sunday". Definitely one of the best German movies of 1999.


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Details

Country:

Germany | Hungary

Language:

German | English | Hungarian

Release Date:

21 October 1999 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Piano Player See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,102, 22 June 2003

Gross USA:

$585,604

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$646,532
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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