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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

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

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

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User Reviews

 
What side to take?
10 September 2003 | by Ell-4See all my reviews

I originally saw the stage play "Taking Sides" by Ronald Harwood on Broadway several years ago. This production starred Ed Harris as the interrogating officer Steve Arnold. The role of Dr. Wilhelm Furtwangler was played by a British actor who was magnificent and unfortunately I am unable to remember his name. The play was not a great success on Broadway for reasons I cannot explain.The entire drama was cast in the office of Captain Arnold.

I personally thought the play was great and the film even better. The reason being that the film was able to portray scenes of Post-war Nuremburg and some vivid concentration camp scenes. (not for the weak of heart) to make its point. Nevertheless as in the stage production, the most vivid scenes still took place in the office of Captain Arnold between him and Dr. Furtwangler. The film roles being played by Harvey Keitel and Stellan Skarsgård. Was the relationship cruel to a point of excess by Capt. Arnold? How true were Dr. Furtwangler's version of life during the Nazi regime. ---??? I wish I could give an answer even to myself--Therefore, no spoiler is possible.

The film raises disturbing questions about the relationship of arts and politics.

As a conclusion, since this was a film with two intensely powerful actors, I would hope to see one or both up for a well deserved Oscar award.


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