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Immortal Beloved [DVD]

Gary Oldman , Jeroen Krabbé , Bernard Rose    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
Price: £3.93 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Immortal Beloved [DVD] + Amadeus [DVD] [1984] + Shine [DVD] [1997]
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Product details

  • Actors: Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbé, Isabella Rossellini, Johanna Ter Stegge, Valeria Golino
  • Directors: Bernard Rose
  • Producers: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Format: DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Icon Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Feb 2009
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JI0IEK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,398 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



This sumptuous and moving 1994 film written and directed by Bernard Rose (Candyman) investigates the artistic and romantic passions of one of the greatest composers of all time. Featuring a superb performance by Gary Oldman (Sid and Nancy) as Ludwig van Beethoven, Immortal Beloved is full of uncommonly vivid, rich imagery as it charts the tumultuous life of the deaf child prodigy and his rise to the height of musical achievement. Along the way, he attempts to play mentor to his nephew, attend to his many passionate romances--the most stable one was with a countess (Isabella Rossellini)--and fight bouts of depression and madness that ruled his life and his art. The film is framed around a "Rosebud"-type letter found after the composer's death that makes up the crux of the story. Jeroen Krabbé (The Fugitive), playing Beethoven's lifelong friend, attempts to discover who Beethoven's muse really was, becoming as driven as his friend in discovering the unlikely identity of the composer's "immortal beloved." Through this we gain an insight into the nature of obsession, romance, and the heights and sacrifices of artistic achievement. The film exhibits some extraordinary sound design, and the finale features a magical encapsulation of Beethoven's life and loves set to his "Ode to Joy." As an exciting and passionate journey, Immortal Beloved is its own masterpiece. --Robert Lane

Product Description

Gary Oldman stars as Ludwig van Beethoven in this biopic of the great composer. At the reading of his will, it is revealed that Beethoven has left all his worldly goods to a mystery female benefactor, who he names as 'my immortal beloved'. Anton Schindler (Jeroen Krabbe) goes in search of the unknown woman, uncovering a number of secrets about the musician's past. Directed by Bernard Rose.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artistic fiction, but wonderful nevertheless.... 10 Sep 2003
Format:VHS Tape
In my view, this isn't an out & out attempt at a strict biopic, and the casual viewer should be aware that a considerable amount of artistic license has been taken with the storyline.
However, get over the need for absolute historical accuracy; what this movie's really about is providing a hugely enjoyable feast for the senses. Gary Oldman is superb. Whoever decided to cast this seemingly unlikely choice for the lead role deserves an award for inspiration bordering on genius. The metamorphosis Oldman achieves is little short of miraculous, a grand statement to the high art of character acting. It's clear that our man has researched his role with an absolute determination to capture the great composer's persona. Thank you Mr Oldman, for what it's worth you've earned this punter's total respect and I'm sure there'll be literally millions more like me. No doubt some of the more academic types will scoff at my sentiments but I think they are missing the point. This is an extremely beautiful film, hugely enjoyable and will doubtless encourage many encountering Beethoven for the first-time to investigate further, itself a great thing.
The setting & atmosphere for the gradually-decaying early 19th century Hapsburg Empire are finely depicted & evocative, and in particular the use of light - both natural & artificial, shows exceptional skill. This is a work of craftmanship by a team who obviously knew what they were doing and worked hard at getting things right.
To sum up, this isn't history, but make no mistake, as a piece of entertainment it's a classic. . The final evocation of Beethoven's spirit set to the Ode to Joy captures this great genius's monumental legacy... hope, a gift for all mankind.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beloved Beethoven 24 Aug 2008
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The title of the film relates to a letter sent by Beethoven to a lady with whom he had fallen in love. But the name of that lady is unknown and this mystery has long fascinated Beethoven scholars. Many have been the names put in the frame. Bernard Rose, who wrote as well as directed this movie, presents his theory. Is it Giuletta Giucciardi, Countess Gallenberg, or Anna-Marie, Countess Erdody, or Johanna Reiss, his sister-in-law?

There is so much that is wrong with this film - for example, its historical inaccuracies; the lack of consistency in accents; and the use of hilly Prague to portray flat Vienna. Watching this film I was often confronted with the crass, the artless, the preposterous, the embarrassing, and the laughable. We have comedy with Barry Humphries as Metternich, Dame Edna Everage struggling to emerge from within his breast. We have naff lines such as Schindler's "It was that damned sonata" on the day that he met Beethoven. And yet, and yet ...

The film is colourful and imaginative, Beethoven's deafness is convincingly conveyed, and the sub-story of the composer's relationship with his nephew is well-told. Perhaps the idea was to replicate the success of "Amadeus" for Beethoven with a high-quality costume-drama. Bernard Rose says that he used the story of seeking Beethoven's "immortal beloved" as an excuse to show the more private and difficult sides of the composer.

Jeroen Krabbe (originally marked down as to play Beethoven) is good as the composer's amanuensis Schindler; equally good is Johanna Ter Steege as the subject of the title. But Gary Oldman is mesmerising as the man himself; his eyes, his hair, his lips, all seem so perfect for the role.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oldman the real Pianist 14 Mar 2012
Just to add my own comment. Gary Oldman is brilliant in this film which captures the essential drama of Beethoven's life. No need to get hung up on historical details.

However one truth that is missed over. Gary Oldman is an accomplished classical pianist. He is actually playing Beethoven.

I saw a brief interview with him and his mother at the time of the film's release and he revealed his own playing when he had to correct people who told him he had done a wonderful job of miming the playing!

He had to correct them, "It was me playing!"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sublime 23 Aug 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A sublime film with Gary Oldman playing Beethoven with deep intensity as he of course is so well known from that famous portrait. This portrait is present in one particular scene of the film and you can immediately see how good Oldman really is. I never for a moment took the film as portraying a factual story but rather as a way to show the character of Beethoven and maybe also to show how his great genius was engendered (encroaching deafness, love lost). The lighting is superb, the use of Beethoven's great music is astonishing. I watched the film with one of my sisters and she like me were deeply emotionally affected throughout. I think it really shows what it took to be such a genius and it simply demonstrates in the most sublime way his music, oh his music, or as is said at the end of the film, how could anyone who could write music like that be all bad.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful, Moving Film 2 Jun 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Immortal Beloved is an interesting film focusing on events in the composer Ludwig Van Beethoven. Rather than a biopic the film begins with Beethoven's funeral and his friend and assistant trying to find who his 'Immortal Beloved' is in his last will and testament. In this way the film is very similar to the excellent 'Citizen Kane' which uses employs flashbacks to tell the story.

Gary Oldman plays Beethoven with a subtle German accent and you can sense the frustration and anger of his struggle with Deafness and communicating with the people around him who presume he is just arrogant and ignorant.

The music of course is fantastic and it complements the story, the atmosphere and mood of the film, especially when it is revealed who Beethoven's 'Immortal Beloved' was!

Although in my opinion 'Immortal Beloved' isn't as good as 'Amadeus' it is a very different film and I would still highly recommend the film to lovers of great music and moving drama.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 6 hours ago by IAN DORAN
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining nonsense!
This epic fantasy based on a rather daft speculation about a love letter found after the great composer's death is clearly modelled on Citizen Kane's "rosebud" mystery. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Adrian Drew
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful movie
Bought it as a thank you gift for friends mother and she loved it, such a timeless and beautiful film.
Published 3 months ago by mojo
1.0 out of 5 stars Lies and nonsense
I love Gary Oldman, but really this film is based on lies and nonsense and gives the ignorant the untrue and crazy idea that Beethoven had an affair with his brother's wife. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Aeolian Harp
4.0 out of 5 stars very good movie - excellent Blu-ray edition
I really enjoied this movie. Not an accurate biography, rather a touching piece of fiction, based on some historical facts. Just a bit too melodramatic. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Arturo
5.0 out of 5 stars IT brought tears to my eyes, although i knew much of his life this...
Brilliant Moving Sorrowful typical human frailties shown throughout. It shows the crosses and the trials we all have to bear at times..
Published 6 months ago by michael cook
4.0 out of 5 stars Immortal Beloved
I have rated this 4 stars to reflect the acting and great story line in this film. Would highly recommend it
Published 6 months ago by maggie may
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable!
Oldman is a triumph in this beautifully staged film that tugs at the heart strings, the music is to die for.
Published 8 months ago by peter darby
5.0 out of 5 stars Immortal Beloved
I have seen the film before so knew the plot etc., but I wanted it for my collection, I am a big Gary Oldman fan and Beethoven too, so loved it!!!!!
Published 8 months ago by Ruth Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Immprtal Beloved
Received in excellent order and what a bloody good film with excitement and thrills to keep you engaged and watching, brilliant and enjoyed from start to finish.
Published 8 months ago by Les
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