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
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 »
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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