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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

at Amazon

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) (20 June 2003)


$223,827 (USA) (21 November 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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
See more »

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User Reviews

A " menage-a-trois" can be terribly pathetic
7 April 2002 | by (Santa Cruz Tenerife, SPAIN) – See all my reviews

Beautiful Budapest, end of the thirties. Lazlo Szabo a middle-aged jew Hungarian runs a chic restaurant with a beautiful waitress,Ilona who is also his mistress. One day they decide to hire a pianist, and it's Ilona who choose. And it's a good choice because the handsome young man, Andras, creates a wonderful mood on the premises. Little by little he falls desperately in love with Ilona and composes specially for her a song, very melancholic, and a bit misterious. He calls it " Gloomy sunday ". This song brings surprisingly a lot of suicides. The love-triangle functions pretty well until the time a german customer, Hans, who comes regularly in the restaurant falls in love with Ilona, without success.A few years later the german army invades Hungary, Hans is back as a highly placed officer and the jewish condition of Lazlo is going to complicate the lives of the four protagonists. This movie is a master- piece and I'd bet if the film had been produced in Hollywood with Stone, Douglas and Harrison Ford, directed by Cassavetes it would have gained several Oscars. It has all a movie fan can expect from a good film -and more. Beautiful scenery, very good story, marvelous music, talent of the actors, and even a bit of sex. I rarely see a picture twice on the same day. This time I did.

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