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Gloomy Sunday (1999)

Gloomy Sunday - Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod (original title)
Follows three men who are in love with a most beautiful waitress: An intellectual restaurant owner, a mysterious musician and an erratic businessman; taking place during the WWII.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Hans Wieck
András Bálint ...
Ilonas Sohn
Géza Boros ...
Herr Wieck
Ilse Zielstorff ...
Frau Wieck
Ferenc Bács ...
Júlia Zsolnai ...
Frau des Botschafters
Áron Sipos ...
Arzt (as Aron Sipos)
Ernst Kahl ...
Zeichner Torresz
Jörg Gillner ...
Chefkoch István
Denis Moschitto ...
Lehrling Inas
István Mikó ...


Budapest in the thirties. The restaurant owner Laszlo hires the pianist András to play in his restaurant. Both men fall in love with the beautiful waitress Ilona who inspires András to his only composition. His song of Gloomy Sunday is, at first, loved and then feared, for its melancholic melody triggers off a chain of suicides. The fragile balance of the erotic ménage à trois is sent off kilter when the German Hans goes and falls in love with Ilona as well. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Romance | Drama


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Parents Guide:






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Release Date:

21 October 1999 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Gloomy Sunday  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,102 (USA) (22 June 2003)


$223,827 (USA) (23 November 2003)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Nazi called Wieck, played by Ben Becker, is a fictionalized SS Col. Kurt Becher, the who was acquitted in Nuremberg of war crimes and who ended up the richest man in Germany. See more »


Beginning at 1:22:06, we can clearly see the set lights over top of the transom that separates the restaurant's vestibule from its main dining room. See more »


László: Everyone would like it all: something for the body, something for the soul. Something that fills you up, something that makes you hungry.
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Komm Zigan
Music by Emmerich Kálmán (as Emmerich Kalman)
Lyrics by Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald
Josef Weinberger Ltd./Octavia Music Australia, London
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User Reviews

Anatomy of wishfulness
6 January 2007 | by (Romania) – See all my reviews

The charm of this film consist in the way to tell old things, in the description art of a well - known world.

"Gloomy Sunday" is a kind of Frankenstein's creature: pieces of "Lili Marleen", "Casablanca" or "The story of 1900", slices of Hungarian's atmosphere, Nazi ghost and menage en trois.

For all that, it is a good movie, his virtue is, in fact, just absence of originality. Like many other movies, the spell is result of a mysterious flavor who persist in your memory months, years and in special moment it saves the image of a sweet trip.

Undoubtedly, it is the story of a song, in same measure that the song is the only character. But, at second sight, it is a warm homage to Mitteleuropa, the gorgeous Kakania's spirit. The lost of youth and the last recollection's skin. The shadow of Goethe's "The Sorrows of Young Werther" is powerful and insidious.

A subtle wishfulness anatomy. And a song like his backbone.

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