The duel between Johann Goethe and Albert Kestner didn't exist in real life. However it is known that Goethe was wishing Kestner his death. The movie's producer Christoph Müller said, that it was known but they wanted to do it more cinematographic and not as a dialog line. See more »
As a child I was already an avid reader, and nothing fascinated me more than Goethe. I knew many of his poems and some of his plays by heart and up to today, I find comfort in rereading his work and nearly three hundred years later everything he wrote has still relevance. Since many years I have three heroes and all three of them have a name starting with G: Goethe, Gandhi and Gaudi. so I never miss a book or a movie telling their stories, but sometimes I miss the movies in the theater, as they are not main stream. That was the case with the Goethe movie and I happened to find it in my local library. My first reaction to the movie was not so positive. I felt like these film makers were turning the German geniuses into some kind of crazy persons, I especially felt that way with Amadeus and also Beethoven.. And the first scenes of this movie worried me that they were trying to do the same thing to Goethe. There is this entry monologue in Faust when he talks about having studied so much and learned nothing." Ah! Now I've done Philosophy, I've finished Law and Medicine, And sadly even Theology: Taken fierce pains, from end to end. Now here I am, a fool for sure! No wiser than I was before:"
I always saw Goethe as Faust, a well=educated but disillusioned man seeking for the meaning of life, not a desperate love-sick youngster.. But when the movie continued I started to like it . Eighteenth century Germany is captured quite convincingly, the costumes, the sets and the landscape are beautiful and the acting persuasive. It transported me into a fantasy trying to imagine how Goethe lived as a young man. I had visited his house in Weimar after the wall fell and some of the places in Italy he favored, which helped me to understand him better.. I deeply resent the English translation of the movie title, this movie has nothing in common with Shakespeare in love and is much more realistic. I will certainly buy the DVD to add to my collection of favorite movies.
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