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Gloomy Sunday
Gloomy Sunday

List Price: $5.97
Our Price: $39.99
Availability: N/A
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Publisher: Warner Home Video
Starring: Joachim Krol, Stefano Dionisi, Ben Becker, Erika Marozsan
Directed By: Rolf Schubel

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Product Description:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Binding: DVD
Brand: Warner Home Video
EAN: 0012569814264
Format: Closed-captioned
Item Dimensions: Array
Label: Warner Home Video
Languages: Array
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
MPN: 012569814264
Number Of Discs: 1
Number Of Items: 1
Publication Date: 2010-04-06
Publisher: Warner Home Video
Region Code: 1
Release Date: 2010-04-06
Running Time: 114
Studio: Warner Home Video
Editorial Review:
Gloomy Sunday (DVD) (WS)
The magic of music, the power of love, the evils of money, and the horror of genocide are the weighty themes tackled in Gloomy Sunday, a moving German-Hungarian film from director/co-writer Rolf Schubel. Released theatrically in 1999, it's said to have been "inspired by actual events," and it is true that the title song, written in the '30s by Rezso Seress (with Hungarian lyrics by Laszlo Javor), was a worldwide hit in its day; it's also a fact that the song has since been covered dozens of times, by artists ranging from Billie Holiday to Bjork and Elvis Costello. As for the suggestion that "Gloomy Sunday" was banned after being connected to multiple suicides, including the composer's, that's a bit more dicey. In any case, it plays a pivotal role in the love story set in Budapest during the ascension of the Third Reich and the onset of the Holocaust. Restaurant owner Laszlo (Joachim Krol) is in love with Ilona, his hostess (Erika Marozsán), a dark-eyed beauty who plays men as easily as Horowitz plays "Chopsticks"; she loves him as well, but that doesn't mean she won't welcome Andras (Stefano Dionisi), the restaurant's new piano player, into her bed as well. Everyone seems to handle that with admirable equanimity, at least until the young German Hans (Ben Becker) inserts himself into the scene. Having been rejected by Ilona, Hans throws himself into the Danube, only to be rescued by Laszlo; when he assures his savior that "We'll meet again," we know that's not necessarily a good thing. Indeed, when Hans returns to Budapest, he's a Nazi colonel. Things get hairy in a hurry after that: Laszlo is Jewish, Ilona still doesn't want Hans, and we're left to discover if the German officer is either another Oskar Schindler or a heartlessly venal criminal loyal only to himself. All of this is played out against the backdrop of a lovely city, with costumes, art direction, and a palette of rich, warm colors creating a convincing period feel. The DVD has no bonus features, but a cursory search of the 'net will turn up multiple versions of the title tune, a sweet but melancholy melody that sounds, as one character puts it, "as if someone were saying something you don't want to hear" but know to be true. --Sam Graham
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