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Taking Sides (2001)

Not Rated | | Drama, Music, War | 7 March 2002 (Germany)
A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the controversial Nazi era. One of the most spectacular ... See full summary »

Director:

István Szabó

Writers:

Ronald Harwood (play), Ronald Harwood (screenplay)
9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harvey Keitel ... Major Steve Arnold
Stellan Skarsgård ... Dr. Wilhelm Furtwängler
Moritz Bleibtreu ... Lt. David Wills
Birgit Minichmayr ... Emmi Straube
Ulrich Tukur ... Helmut Alfred Rode, 2nd violinist
Oleg Tabakov ... Colonel Dymshitz
Hanns Zischler ... Rudolf Otto Werner, oboist
Armin Rohde ... Schlee, timpanist
R. Lee Ermey ... General Wallace
August Zirner ... Captain Ed Martin
Daniel White Daniel White ... Sergeant Adams
Thomas Thieme Thomas Thieme ... Reichsminister
Jed Curtis ... Colonel Green
Garrick Hagon ... Major Richards
Robin Renucci ... Captain Vernay
Edit

Storyline

A tale based on the life of Wilhelm Furtwangler, the controversial conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose tenure coincided with the controversial Nazi era. One of the most spectacular and renowned conductors of the 1930s, Furtwangler's reputation rivalled that of Toscanini's. After the war, he was investigated as part of the Allies' de-Nazification program. In the bombed-out Berlin of the immediate post-war period, the Allies slowly bring law and order, and justice, to bear in an occupied Germany. An American Major is given the Furtwangler file, and is told to find everything he can and to prosecute the man ruthlessly. Tough and hard-nosed, Major Steve Arnold sets out to investigate a world of which he knows nothing. Orchestra members vouch for Furtwangler's morality. He did what he could to protect Jewish players from his orchestra. To the Germans, deeply respectful of their musical heritage, Furtwangler was a demigod; to Major Arnold, he is just a lying, weak-willed Nazi. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | UK | Germany | Austria

Language:

English | Russian | French | German

Release Date:

7 March 2002 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A torto o a ragione See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,051, 7 September 2003

Gross USA:

$188,952

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$422,832
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Goofs

When Emmi is buying records from the vendor she asks in German the price of the records. The vendor replies five hundred. He should have said "fünf", five in German. Since she is German there is no reason for the English number. See more »

Connections

Version of Za a Przeciw (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

1ST & 4TH MOVEMENTS
(from SYMPHONY NO.5 C MINOR, OP.67)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Taking Furtwängler's side
2 May 2004 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

Hungarian filmmaker István Szabó returned to the screen in 2001, with this adaptation of Ronald Harwood's stage play about the controversial case of Wilhelm Furtwängler, the most famous orchestra conductor in Germany during the Nazi regime. A study of opposing points of view on the meaning and value of art, but above all a confrontation of different cultures and world visions. The case is conducted by an American commander, whose vulgarity and narrow-mindedness (with simplistic definitions of right, wrong, democracy, etc., echoing the position of some Americans) is contrasted with Furtwängler's sensibility. Harvey Keitel is an excellent choice for the military, while Stellan Skarsgård brings aplomb and dignity as Furtwängler, who has the support of Keitel's assistants (played by Birgit Minichmayr, and Moritz Bleibtreu of 'Run, Lola, Run' fame.) A short film, considering the length of Szabó's films as 'Mephisto' and 'Colonel Redl.'


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