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Music Box
Music Box
Actors: Jessica Lange, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Frederic Forrest, Donald Moffat, Lukas Haas
Director: Costa-Gavras
Genres: Drama, Military & War
PG-13     2003     2hr 4min

Music Box provides celebrated director Costa-gavras another opportunity to weave a story of nail-biting suspense with frightening political overtones. In this intense courtroom thriller, Chicago attorney Ann Talbot (Jessi...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jessica Lange, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Frederic Forrest, Donald Moffat, Lukas Haas
Director: Costa-Gavras
Creators: Patrick Blossier, JoŽle Van Effenterre, Hal W. Polaire, Irwin Winkler, Joe Eszterhas
Genres: Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Family Life, Military & War
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 05/20/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 2hr 4min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Why is this Widescreen film in Full Screen format????
andrew j romano | Milwaukee, WI USA | 07/19/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This film contains the best performance of Jessica Lange's auspicious career hands down. This was also American audiences introduction to the wonderful Armin Mueller-Stahl in the role of Lange's father. Thank goodness I saw this film on the big screen, and then later on the Widescreen Laserdisc. I have never seen this film panned and scanned, and i refuse to now, even though it has been released on DVD. So, unless Artisan Home Video intends on re-releasing this outstanding film in the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio and in the 16x9 format, they are not getting my money."
When the past comes knocking, it isn't always Teleflora
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 12/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What if your Dad, the loving and beloved head of your middle-class American family, was suddenly charged with war crimes? This is the scenario for THE MUSIC BOX, a 1990 release, in which Jessica Lange plays a criminal defense lawyer asked by her widower father to defend him against such charges being brought by the US government on behalf of Hungary. The father, played by Armin Mueller-Stahl, is alleged to have committed multiple atrocities as an officer of a neo-Nazi police unit in Budapest during World War II. A complicating element is the father's vocal anti-communism, for which, he claims, the Red regime back in the old country is masterminding a frame-up. (Remember, we're talking about bad ol' days of the Cold War here.) Anyway, the Old Man needs a hotshot attorney, so his dutiful and devoted daughter takes the case.

Another reviewer has concluded that the plot is "far-fetched". Hmm. I would think that those aging American residents who've actually been charged with Nazi war crimes during the past couple of decades might not find it so far-fetched at all. Some have even been deported. Perhaps he's referring to the storyline that calls for the accused to be defended by his own offspring. OK, that probably wouldn't happen in real life. But, what is an otherwise idle Hollywood screenwriter to do when called upon to help fabricate a box office success?

The plot's arguable implausibility aside, both Lange and Mueller-Stahl give forceful and bravura performances as two people caught up in the fading echoes of receding history. The final scene between the two should have earned Lange that year's Oscar, but sadly didn't. There're also some quite good visual images of Budapest, which, at the end of the Cold War when this film was shot, was probably the Eastern Bloc's most beautiful capital city.

Notwithstanding that I've always been a little in love with Jessica Lange ever since TOOTSIE, I liked this film a lot. "They" say you can't go back. But, sometimes past history comes to visit uninvited."
Solid Entertaiment
andrew j romano | 02/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Jessica Lange gives a great performance as the hungarian daughter who's father is accused of war crimes. Well plotted and suspensful, this film was overlooked at oscar time. It should have won a few."
Huge disappointment at the quality!
filmlover for 71 years | Hendersonville, NC United States | 11/21/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Having originally seen the film when it was released, and owning the VHS version ( which by the way has captions) I could not believe the extremely poor quality of the DVD. I have slowly been replacing my videos w/DVD versions. In this case I will keep the VHS and get rid of my just purchased DVD copy. The film, the director, actors, are all incredibly good. I would give it 10 if there were such a number available, but certainly a 5. However the quality of the sound is so poor that if there were minus numbers, I would use them. Others have already written of the format, etc. so I will not repeat all that, but I agree that it should have had the option of widescreen,etc. But for the sound, there is NO excuse. It is not only poor, but at times, when the actors are speaking in a low voice, the DVD is inaudible. There is NO such problem on the VHS, and if there were there is captioning to resort to. Since there is no problem w/the sound on the video, it never occurred to me that the DVD would have such a big one.
If you can find a VHS copy, I would recommend it over this DVD."