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Gloomy Sunday (1999)

Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod (original title)
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.


Rolf Schübel


Ruth Toma (screenplay), Rolf Schübel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




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


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


Romance | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Germany | Hungary


German | English | Hungarian

Release Date:

21 October 1999 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Gloomy Sunday See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »


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

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


Beginning at 1:22:06, we can clearly see the set lights over top of the transom that separates the restaurant's vestibule from its main dining room. See more »


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


Schöner Gigolo, Armer Gigolo
Music by Leonello Casucci
Lyrics by Julius Brammer
BMG UFA Musikverlag, München
See more »

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User Reviews

A Wonderful Movie That Is Not "Gloomy"
24 July 2003 | by sweetnlowdown2See all my reviews

"Gloomy Sunday" was a movie I happen to see by chance. Apparently my city is the only city in North America that is showing this movie. It is playing in one theatre in a small suburb. My father and I went to see this movie he wanted to see it because we are Hungarian and wanted to hear what kind of music would be played. To my surprise I found that I had actually enjoyed the movie. My expectations were low, only because I didn't have a clue as to what to expect but, I'm very happy I saw this film. It's one of the best films I've seen so far this year. The movie is about a few things. One of it's main story-lines concerns a love triangle concerning Laszlo (Joachim Krol), Ilona (Erika Marazan) and Andras (Stefano Dionisi). Laszlo owns a restaurant and Ilona is his girlfriend. Laszlo is hoping to have some music in his restaurant and hires a piano player, Andras. Andras likes Ilona. And Ilona it seems likes Andras. So he movie it seems will be a love story set during the beginning of WW2. But, there's also another story building. Andras has written a song called "Gloomy Sunday". He has written for Ilona. But soon the song becomes a hit. It's a beautiful song that seems to have a very strange effect on whoever listens to it. Soon afterwards people are committing suicide. And here we have a case of fact stranger than fiction. For it is this part of the story that is actually true. "Gloomy Sunday" is based on this story with the love theme used as a backdrop. I don't know if or when this movie will be wider release in North America. But I hope people will go see this movie. In fact though I doubt that people from this country have even heard of this movie. Here is a movie that NEEDS to be better known. It is a small gem. *** out of **** or a 7\10.

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