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  • Immortal Beloved [VHS] [1995]
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Immortal Beloved [VHS] [1995]

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Product details

  • Actors: Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbé, Isabella Rossellini, Johanna ter Steege, Marco Hofschneider
  • Directors: Bernard Rose
  • Writers: Bernard Rose
  • Producers: Bruce Davey, Stephen McEveety
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Eiv
  • VHS Release Date: 12 Feb. 1996
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CQU1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 297,360 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Jenkins on 10 Sept. 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
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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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Aug. 2008
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP on 21 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD
The perfect companion for all film enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Here is a passionate and transfixing screen biography of Ludwig van Beethoven, who believed "music should strike a fire from a man." The film is propelled by a variety of soul-stirring passages from the prolific German composer's repertoire.

Following Beethoven's death in 1827, an undelivered letter in his hand addressed to "Immortal Beloved" is discovered. His longtime secretary Anton Felix Schindler takes it upon himself to track down this person to whom Beethoven has willed his fortune.

He meets with Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, the woman to whom the composer dedicated the "Moonlight Sonata." She recounts the onset of Beethoven's deafness and his refusal to subscribe to the conventional dictates of society.

Schindler also talks with Countess Anna Maria Erdody who provided a sanctuary for the musician during a difficult period of his life. Schindler's investigations next lead to Johanna, the widow of Beethoven's younger brother. The secretary recalls the composer's futile attempt to turn her son into a musical prodigy.

Bernard Rose has written and directed Immortal Beloved with a heightened sensitivity to the flashes of feeling and the flights of fantasy in Beethoven's inimitable creations. Bravo to Sir George Solti, who as music director has chosen a wonderful crosscut of selections from the composer's repertoire.

In Arabic, the word for absurdity means not being able to hear.
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