Drama / Music / War

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Leslie Nielsen Photo
Leslie Nielsen as Victor Rice
Charlton Heston Photo
Charlton Heston as Lionel Evans
Maximilian Schell Photo
Maximilian Schell as Gen. Schiller
Kathryn Hays Photo
Kathryn Hays as Annabelle Rice
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
978.29 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
P/S ...
1.77 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
P/S 0 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by silverscreen8887 / 10

Unusual Thriller; an Adventure With Characters and Atmosphere

This is perhaps not a great movie; but as many viewers have attested over the years, it is a very memorable attempt at entertainment. The context of this dramatic film is WWII. People do strange things in wartime, I suggest; but once one accepts the physical presence of a fine orchestra led by a pompous but talented man in harm's way, where he can be coveted, captured and coerced by a civilized Nazi officer and menaced by an SS type, everything else falls into place. The other elements in the plot about an orchestra leader "not playing, for time" to save the lives of his orchestra's members and two US soldiers who have been caught in the same zone with no escape are these: a traitor in the orchestra; a relationship between the leader and a cellist; his relations with her husband, his concertmaster, the SS officer's desire to exterminate them, and the desire of the Nazi captor to have them play something just for him in the midst of wartime--these are unusual attributes for a 'war film, I assert. Those who missed the main point of the film, that the ethics of emergencies are different than those of normative times, thus missed why the movie was made. There are examples, in history such as "Playing For Time": for instance, of musicians and Jewish ones and females being kept alive to play for Nazi officers; the clever part here is that writers James Lee and Joel Oliansky 'fictionalized' the idea by providing interesting additions to the basic situation, which are: the aforementioned affair, the danger that brings out the characters more strongly, the need NOT to play, and the additional element of a traitor in their midst, the two US types and the often-used but effective distinction between civilized Germans serving Hitler's Nazi war'machine' and SS types enjoying their unlimited power to do harm to anyone they single out during that war. The change in the leader's character during the film is that he must remain true to himself and also prioritize what he does for the good of the group, no easy task. And the music is wonderful, the atmosphere so good even naysayers have remarked on it. As to the acting, it is far better than the mumbling and often ludicrous submediocrity that has characterized Hollywood unprofessionalism since 1973. The film was directed by Ralph Nelson. The good cast included Charlton Heston as the monomaniacal maestro, Maximilian Schell and Anton Diffrimf as the German contestants for the lives of the orchestra's members, Leslie Nielse and Kathryn hays as the other members of the love triangle, plus Neva Patterson, Cyril Delevanti, Gregory Morton, Parley Baer, Ed Peck, Peter Masterson, Curt Lowens and many more. Original music for the film was composed by Bronislau Kaper; cinematography was done by Russell Metty. Art direction was done by Carl Anderson and Alexander Golitzen, set decoration by John McCarthy Jr. and George Milo with costumes by Burton Miller The film is well-=aced, the dialogue above average, many scenes well-thought out; and the music alone is worth the price of admission. Anyone who does not enjoy this film and believe in its essential logic is perhaps an opponent of realistic behavior, actions that consist of dealing with the unusual sometimes, and with something other than rock-and-roll level cardboard types characterized by what is wrong with them and not by anything higher. Worth seeing more than once.

Reviewed by ma-cortes7 / 10

Agreeable WWII picture about an orchestra captured by Nazis , including classic musical score and marvelous acting

Famous symphony conductor (Charlton Heston) is captured by the Germans in WW2 and is forced to put on private concerts for the Nazi generals . At the beginning the known orchestra conductor entertains the Allied troops until is taken nearly Bastogne , during Ardennes offensive led by General Von Rundstet . The musicians are moved to an impressive castle where is a Nazi army , a Panzer Division commanded by Gen. Schiller (Maximilian Schell) and Col. Arndt (Anton Diffring) . To save their lives , the players (Parley Baer , Bill Erwin , Ed Peck ,Dan Frazer and ¡ Leslie Nielsen¡ along with his wife performed by Kathryn Hays) have to play a private concert . However , the musical conductor doesn't want to follow the Nazi orders . Meanwhile , Lt. Long (Linden Chiles) and Sgt. Calloway (Peter Masterson) who are hidden in orchestra attempt to escape .

Good melodrama packs adequate cinematography , nice settings , classic score and wonderful performance . Enjoyable picture in which takes place an exciting battle of wits between two aces of interpretation : Charlton Heston and Maximilian Schell . Acting by two principal actors is first-range , both of whom are magnificent . Extraordinary Maximilian Schell , as usual , and acceptable acting by Charlton Heston as orchestra conductor though he must not change facial expression while conducting . Support cast is frankly good , such as Kathryn Hays , Leslie Nielsen , Linden Chiles , Peter Masterson and a cameo by the same director , Ralph Nelson , as Belgian officer . Special mention for Anton Driffing who worked continuously in motion pictures due to his aristocratic, German face and cool, clipped diction, making him ideal for typecasting in British and later American motion pictures as Nazis and other vile, despicable characters such as : ¨Where eagles dare¨, ¨The Blue Max¨ , The Heroes of Telemark , "The Battle of Sutjeska" , ¨Zeppelin¨ , ¨Victory¨ and many others .

Russell Metty cinematography in Techniscope is rousing and colorful . Bronislau Kaper soundtrack is riveting , including classy musical score ; these are the followings pieces heard in the film : 5º symphony of Bethoven , Endless symphony by Schubert , 1º symphony of Brahms , Lake of swans by Tchaikowski and Tanhauser's Wagner . The feature obtained a limited success and had a moderated box-office , it is nowadays better valued . The motion picture was well directed by Ralph Nelson . There were no half measures in this filmmaker. He would make sentimental movies or violent and gore films . Failure alternated with hits through the 1960s, though Nelson's direction was more than successful in ¨Lilies of the field¨ with invaluable help of Sidney Poitier who won an Oscar as an African-American helping a group of German nuns to build a chapel. And of course , his greatest success ¨Soldier Blue¨, including cruel massacres and and blood fountained all over the screen . In the 7os Nelson went on to making strong movies , however, his films themselves were doing less successful at the Box office , numerous of those being barely seen outside US . As a violent Zapata Western titled ¨Wrath of God¨ with Robert Mitchum, as ¨Tick..Tick..Tick¨ in which the racial tensions arise when a black man being elected sheriff , ¨ The Wilby conspiracy¨ about the apartheid and again with Poitier and a Sci-fi movie titled ¨Embryo¨ with Rock Hudson. Rating : Better than average , Charlton Heston fans will enjoy their idol .

Reviewed by bkoganbing5 / 10

Shoot the orchestra

I'm sure that both Charlton Heston and Maximilian Schell took the roles they did in Counterpoint because they are intriguing figures. Sad to say the parts outweigh the value of the story as a whole. But fans of Heston and Schell are in for a treat.

For those who think that USO shows at the front consisted of movie comedians like Bob Hope and leggy stars like Betty Grable you'd be surprised that it is true that a concert orchestra would be booked on a tour of the front. The problem is in Counterpoint that this particular symphony got too far at the front and the place they are playing in Belgium gets overrun by the Wehrmacht in The Battle Of The Bulge. The entire orchestra is taken prisoner.

Adolph Hitler has ordered no prisoners be taken and the good Germans who obey orders unquestioningly are ready to just mow the orchestra down with machine gun fire. But the commanding general is a classical music lover and quite frankly Maximilian Schell would just love a private concert, maybe then shoot them. So Heston has to play for time.

Heston is an arrogant sort, rather full of himself as a lot of maestros are. But in the end he's got the welfare of his people at heart. As for Schell he appreciates Heston and his artistry, but he is a soldier and like his character in The Young Lions knows that the German Army obeys orders, any orders.

Funny thing is that even in those last days of World War II Hitler would have loved bagging a whole symphony orchestra like that and would have loved a private concert if anyone had the wit to see it.

Heston and Schell so dominate the film that the supporting players barely get any recognition. The film is top heavy, but entertaining.

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