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The Life and Loves of Beethoven (1936)

Un grand amour de Beethoven (original title)
Lyrical biography of the classical composer, depicted as a romantical hero, an accursed artist.

Director:

Abel Gance

Writers:

Abel Gance, Steve Passeur (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Baur ... Ludwig van Beethoven
Annie Ducaux ... Thérèse Brunswick
Jany Holt ... Giulietta Guicciardi
André Nox ... Humpholz
Jane Marken ... Esther Frechet - la cuisinière
Lucas Gridoux ... Nikolaus Zmeskall
Paul Pauley ... Schuppanzigh
Lucien Rozenberg Lucien Rozenberg ... Le comte Guicciardi
Yolande Laffon Yolande Laffon ... La coumtesse Guicciardi
Jean Debucourt ... Le comte Robert Gallenberg (as Debucourt de la Comédie Française)
Jean-Louis Barrault ... Karl van Beethoven
Georges Paulais Georges Paulais ... Le médecin (as Paulais)
Georges Saillard Georges Saillard ... Breuning
Jean Pâqui ... Pierrot
Philippe Richard Philippe Richard
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Storyline

1801, in Vienna, two young women, his pupils, are in love with him. Thérèse de Brunswick's love remains unrequited even though she and Beethoven are engaged for years; Juliette Guicciardi, whom Beethoven loves but who marries a count, regrets that decision, but by then he and Thérèse are engaged. When Beethoven loses Juliette, he moves to the mill at Heiligenstadt; realizing he's becoming deaf, profound depression sets in. He rejects suicide, holding on to remembered sound and to his work, a dedication assisted by Thérèse and others. In later years, we see his devotion to an ungrateful and thieving nephew, his poverty, the isolation of deafness, and the love of friends. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Great Musical Film Biography See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

21 November 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life and Loves of Beethoven See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Général Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. See more »

Soundtracks

Marche Militaire
Written by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

 
great biopic
11 June 2002 | by jimi99See all my reviews

From the opening heart-wrenching scene that establishes the marriage of Beethoven's compassion with his extraordinary genius, to the transcendent death scene, The Great Love of Beethoven shows how adept Abel Gance could still be after the grandiosity and gimmickry of Napoleon. This film seems to owe much to the Surrealists, to Renoir, and to the Rembrandt biopic starring Charles Laughton, which I believe was a year or 2 before. The romantic nature of the man and how it both conflicted with and intensified his creative genius is at the center of the film, exploring his relationships in the most effective way: through the use of his timeless music. Of course Ludwig's gradual and intermittent deafness is a critical element of any such biography, and is conveyed by Gance brilliantly. In few films has such familiar and beloved music been used to capture the emotional content of the various moods and episodes of the artist's life, from the deepest melancholy to the gaiety of birdsong that Beethoven channels spontaneously to the delight of the children gathered around and the artist himself. Beautiful, sad, honest & important film...


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