6.8/10
11,119
127 user 80 critic

Music of the Heart (1999)

Story of a schoolteacher's struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids.

Director:

Wes Craven

Writer:

Pamela Gray

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Roberta Guaspari
Cloris Leachman ... Assunta Guaspari
Henry Dinhofer Henry Dinhofer ... Lexi at 5
Michael Angarano ... Nick at 7
Robert Ari Robert Ari ... Supervisor
Aidan Quinn ... Brian Turner
Teddy Coluca ... Taxi Driver
Angela Bassett ... Principal Janet Williams
Josh Pais ... Dennis Rausch
Barbara Gonzalez Barbara Gonzalez ... Janet's Secretary
Jade Yorker ... DeSean at 11
Victoria Gómez Victoria Gómez ... Lucy at 10 (as Victoria Gomez)
Justin Pierre Edmund ... Bongo Kid
Justin 'DJ' Spaulding Justin 'DJ' Spaulding ... Naeem Adisa at 9 (as Justin Spaulding)
Zoe Sternbach-Taubman Zoe Sternbach-Taubman ... Guadalupe at 9
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Storyline

The true story of a young teacher who fights against the board of education in her bid to teach underprivileged kids in a Harlem school the beauty of music through the violin. In her struggle she loses everything as the system comes down on her with all their might but her determination for the kids happiness helps her to battle back with wonderfully inspirational results. Written by Kryp <capthowdee@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She gave them a gift they could never imagine. They gave the system a fight it would never forget.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fiddlefest See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,653,281, 31 October 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,859,394
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Immediately following a phenomenally successful preview screening of the original Scream (1996), Bob and Harvey Weinstein offered Wes Craven a three picture deal, two of which were to be horror films, the last of which was to be "a petticoat film" (i.e. a costume drama for which the Weinsteins were known at the time) which Craven, a fan of classical music, chose to be this film. See more »

Goofs

At the end of Roberta's first week of teaching, Brian visits her apartment to celebrate. When he enters the room, Roberta has just finished putting three large curlers in her hair on the left side. They disappear after the two of them kiss. See more »

Quotes

Assunta Guaspari: I was the only one in the coffee shop not speaking Spanish. Boys, lunch!
[loud bang]
Assunta Guaspari: Oh! Gunshots!
Roberta Guaspari: That's a truck backfire, Mom.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Please support arts and music education. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Craven Images: The Horror Hits of Michael Berryman (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bridge
Performed by M.C. Shan (as MC Shan)
Written by M.C. Shan (as Shawn Moltke) and Marley Marl (as Marlon Williams)
Courtesy of Songs of Marl and Third Power Enterprise Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

A wonderful, wonderful movie for any music-lover, one of the very few I rate "10"!
4 August 2000 | by TxMikeSee all my reviews

Even though I had been wanting to see "Music of the Heart" for a while now, and I expected to like it, I didn't expect it to be one of my favorites of all time. Which it now is.

Meryl Streep, in the lead role, is nothing short of fantastic. She studied violin virtually every day, for 2 to 4 hours a day, for 3 months because she insisted on doing all her on-screen playing. She was so good that duing warm-up for the Carnegie Hall scene, famous violinists Issac Stern and Jascha Heifitz stood in amazement at how good she was. Watching the movie, I honestly became unaware that she was an "actress" in a movie, and that seldom happens with me.

The most enjoyable scenes were those showing young children make music. And the Carnegie Hall performance, with all those real-world virtuoso violinists, is one of the most moving scenes imaginable, when you consider what had transpired leading up to it.

This movie is based on the real story of a real music teacher in Harlem. It is a wonderful story of how one person through love and persistence can affect so many in such a positive way. This movie, unlike most, will stay with me for a long, long time.


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