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Taking Sides (2001)

Drama | 108 minutes
3,19 97 votes

Genre: Drama / War

Duration: 108 minuten

Country: Germany / France / Austria / United Kingdom

Directed by: István Szabó

Stars: Harvey Keitel, Moritz Bleibtreu and Stellan Skarsgård

IMDb score: 7,1 (3.914)

Releasedate: 1 January 2001


Taking Sides plot

After World War II, Germany is in ruins. Among the debris, the Allies are fiercely hunting all Nazi leaders to bring them to justice in Nurenberg. Major Steve Arnold faces the difficult task of uncovering the truth about famed conductor Dr. Wilhelm Furtwangler. Is he a Nazi who, as Hitler's favorite, was allowed to musically frame the Führer's birthdays? Or is he a hero who refused to give the Nazi salute and managed to smuggle Jewish musicians out of the country with all the dangers of those Jewish musicians?

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Steve Arnold

Wilhelm Furtwängler

General Wallace

Helmut Rode

Colonel Dymshitz

Rudolf Werner

Sergeant Adams

Reviews & comments


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avatar van 606


  • 23798 messages
  • 11882 votes

Very interesting, unfortunately unknown film.

Beautifully acted by the actors.

Once again I saw something I didn't know about the Second World War.

4 stars

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van AngelicV


  • 327 messages
  • 507 votes

To what extent can you practice your profession as a musician/conductor in an autocratic country? The Allies faced that dilemma and the political influence/guilt involved after WWII. Powerful play by Keitel as a reprimanding major with Skarsgård as the top opponent. The black and white images of the actual events enhance the whole.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Filmkriebel


  • 9118 messages
  • 4208 votes

Denazification can lead to interesting films, but I didn't find that to be the case here. The point the director wants to make is not clear to me... or it is far too weak. The commander puts a lot of energy into accusing a composer and conductor, while there were so many other accomplices walking around to be locked up. I find the questions raised about the maestro of little value in the entire denazification process. Strange that people take the trouble to make a film about that figure and not someone who really actively participated.

Wilhelm Furtwängler, like Schindler, also helped Jews. Just because the Nazi top brass liked his music does not mean he is guilty or complicit in the Holocaust. I thought Keitel was just an annoying guy for whom Furtwängler's guilt was already predetermined, and from his rigidly one-sided vision he actually did not understand what daily life in Nazi Germany entailed.

Bland film, which is why marketing terms like "powerful performances", "two thumbs up" and "exceptional" are spread all over the poster, otherwise no one would watch this film.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original