7.9/10
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56 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 »

On Disc

at Amazon

7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Erika Marozsán ... Ilona
Joachim Król ... László
Ben Becker ... Hans Wieck
Stefano Dionisi ... András
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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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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$223,827, 23 November 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The Nazi called Wieck, played by Ben Becker, is a fictionalized SS Col. Kurt Becher, the who was acquitted in Nuremberg of war crimes and who ended up the richest man in Germany. 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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Soundtracks

Polonaise in A Major, Op. 40 No. 1
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
[Played at her birthday]
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User Reviews

 
A " menage-a-trois" can be terribly pathetic
7 April 2002 | by crisbobSee all my reviews

Beautiful Budapest, end of the thirties. Lazlo Szabo a middle-aged jew Hungarian runs a chic restaurant with a beautiful waitress,Ilona who is also his mistress. One day they decide to hire a pianist, and it's Ilona who choose. And it's a good choice because the handsome young man, Andras, creates a wonderful mood on the premises. Little by little he falls desperately in love with Ilona and composes specially for her a song, very melancholic, and a bit misterious. He calls it " Gloomy sunday ". This song brings surprisingly a lot of suicides. The love-triangle functions pretty well until the time a german customer, Hans, who comes regularly in the restaurant falls in love with Ilona, without success.A few years later the german army invades Hungary, Hans is back as a highly placed officer and the jewish condition of Lazlo is going to complicate the lives of the four protagonists. This movie is a master- piece and I'd bet if the film had been produced in Hollywood with Stone, Douglas and Harrison Ford, directed by Cassavetes it would have gained several Oscars. It has all a movie fan can expect from a good film -and more. Beautiful scenery, very good story, marvelous music, talent of the actors, and even a bit of sex. I rarely see a picture twice on the same day. This time I did.


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