(1999)

Critic Reviews

60

Metascore

Based on 22 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
A beautiful period piece, set against one of the world's glorious cities, adding poignancy. Twists and turns heighten a gradually accruing effect, building to a risky moment of truth, a coup de théâtre that is as daring as it is satisfying.
75
Suicides are proliferating in the city -- is the song to blame, or is it the tenor of the times?
75
Chicago Sun-Times
It's an old-fashioned romantic triangle, told with schmaltzy music on the sound track and a heroine with a smoky singing voice, and then the Nazis turn up and it gets very complicated and heartbreaking.
70
Long on atmosphere and Old World charm.
70
The iconic '30s song "Gloomy Sunday" gets a distinctive celluloid setting in this well-played, cleverly scripted pic in which music and character are inextricably combined.
60
The A.V. Club
Gloomy Sunday's success in transcending its own clichés and conventionality -- at least until the morose finale -- is due in part to the story's primal romantic pull, aided by attractive actors who either stare longingly into each other's eyes or cavort in states of undress.
60
Chicago Reader
The Holocaust subplot is contrived and schematic. Yet the central love triangle is fairly compelling, aided by Krol's fine performance.
60
Wall Street Journal
Who knew that one of Billie Holiday's most haunting songs was written in Budapest in the 1930s? I didn't until I saw Gloomy Sunday, a German film, shot in Hungary and directed by Rolf Schubel, that I enjoyed quite a lot, even though it's all over the map in more ways than one.
40
Village Voice
Dissolving four characters' lives into the dank smoke of the bitterest of torch songs, Gloomy Sunday fashions an apocryphal, pretty, and somewhat pat biography of the title ballad.
40
L.A. Weekly
There's a whiff of exploitation about any movie that claims the Holocaust as a “backdrop,” and Rolf Schübel’s treacly tale of three men lovesick for the same blue-eyed beauty fairly reeks of it.

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