9 user

Il était une fois Jean-Sébastien Bach (2003)

Not Rated | | Drama | 13 August 2003 (France)
J.S. BACH: THE MUSIC, THE LIFE, THE LEGEND is a dramatic look at the life of Johann Sebastian Bach, a man who dedicated his life to the service of music.




Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Vadim ... Jean-Sébastien Bach
Elena Lenina ... Anna Magdalena Bach
Frédérique Bel ... Maria Barbara Bach
Jean Rochefort ... Narrator (voice)
Cédric Vallet ... Jean-Christophe Bach
Daniel Duault Daniel Duault ... Le duc de Weimar
Gwenaël Foucher Gwenaël Foucher ... Jean-Sébastien Bach enfant
Alain Floret Alain Floret ... Monsieur Buxtehüde
Jean Léger Jean Léger ... Le pasteur d'Arnstadt
Raphaëlle Lenoble Raphaëlle Lenoble ... Alexandra Buxtehüde
Annette Schreiber Annette Schreiber ... Margaretha Bach
Patrick Colucci Patrick Colucci
Patrick Tessari Patrick Tessari
Alain Courtioux Alain Courtioux
Michael Berreby Michael Berreby


The film opens with a young Johann Sebastian Bach. , who has just been struck by the first of several painful blows of fate , because he is an orphan at age ten so he is seen walking with his older brother since he will live with him . Bach will learn from his older brother because he is also a professional musician . Bach eventually strikes out on his own and takes the first of several professional music positions . Eventually tragedy strikes him a second time but Bach responds by making more music that , as time has tested it well , has several centuries later still not only stood the test of time but become part of the classical musical world's pantheon. , as proven by so many of his pieces being played year after year on multiple continents . Written by Philip K

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

13 August 2003 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Il était une fois... Johann Sebastian Bach See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

JSB Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

This film doesn't know what it wants to be.
19 April 2015 | by mikasparkySee all my reviews

It does come off, as another reviewer noted, like a high school documentary film. The narration is a bit stultifying. If you want to learn about JS Bach's life, though, you will by watching this movie. The actors do the best they can, but the format could have been better--the narrator/scene/narrator/scene exposition gets a bit plodding after a while.

Costumes? Superb. Sets? Wonderful. With the exception of one actress whose makeup looks like she went to Lancome to get her face painted, and to Sassoon for her hair to be styled, the rest of the group look half-way believable.

There's enough of JS Bach's music peppered throughout the film that you'll get a nice helping of it, so that's a plus, too.

What's unfortunate, though, is that they clearly didn't spare the horses in terms of expense when it came to visual and auditory details...it's just a shame that the exposition of the story was so, well, lame.

Bottom line: Like Bach? Your time won't be wasted watching this film. If you're not madly in love with the guy and his music, though, this might not give you the "period drama" fix you seek.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed