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Taking Sides (2001)

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)

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9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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 »
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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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$188,952, 14 March 2004
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 Major Arnold is listening to the recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, the record finishes the first movement and carries straight on to the second. Long playing albums, which ran at 33 1/3 rpm, were introduced in 1948, but the record shown is a 78 rpm one. The performance of the 5th Symphony would have been on a set of five 78 rpm records, one movement each, split over the two sides. It should not be possible for the second movement to start without the record being changed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Schatten und Licht - Ken Adam, Filmarchitekt (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Excellent and compelling adaptation of stage play
24 November 2003 | by YouRebelScumSee all my reviews

This is really an excellent film containing an Oscar-worthy performance from Stellan Skarsgard as the discredited German conductor Wilhem Furtwengler. Consistently thought-provoking and challenging, and beautifully shot, it's one of the most satisfying movie experiences I've had in a while. Makes Seabiscuit look like the limp, over-produced gunk it was.


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