7.2/10
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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)

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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

In one of the library scenes the boom mic and the arm holding it are clearly visible. See more »

Connections

Version of Za a Przeciw (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

2ND MOVEMENT
(from STRING QUARTETS IN C MAJOR, D.956)
Music by Franz Schubert
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Questioning the motives of those in power.
18 March 2006 | by dl-robertsSee all my reviews

Harvey Keitel plays Major Steve Arnold, a small man in insurance, from New York. Stellan Skarsgård plays Furtwängler, a genius who was loved and courted by the Nazis.

The Major pursues Furtwangler like a rabid dog, determined to show that that Furtwangler was guilty of something.Why didn't Furtwangler leave when he had the chance? Did he seek out accolades from the devil?

Why is Major Arnold so Angry? It it the anger of a small man who feels spat upon by life, suddenly given the chance of bring down someone once so High and Mighty?

FurtWangler is aloof, distant, full of easy platitudes about the redemptive quality of Art. Major Arnold is mean and streetwise, quick to attack and condemn those who he does not understand.

Who is in the wrong? In the end does it mean anything to believe you are right? In whose eyes anyway? This film asks some difficult questions about how we perceive ourselves and others, how we question our most basic motives. Very Good.


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