7.4/10
1,989
31 user 11 critic

Playing for Time (1980)

Female prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp (Auschwitz) are spared from death in return for performing music for their captors.

Directors:

Daniel Mann, Joseph Sargent (uncredited)

Writers:

Arthur Miller, Fania Fénelon (autobiography: "The Musicians of Auschwitz")
Reviews
Popularity
4,552 ( 56)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A biographical film about the black-and-white era Czech actress Lída Baarová and her doomed love affair with one of the Third Reich's most powerful men: the Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels.

Director: Filip Renc
Stars: Tatiana Pauhofová, Karl Markovics, Gedeon Burkhard
Riphagen (2016)
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story about Riphagen, a cunning Dutch traitor during WW2 who helped Nazi round up Jews, stealing their treasures for himself. He destroyed Resistance groups, making many who pursued justice after the war look like fools.

Director: Pieter Kuijpers
Stars: Sigrid ten Napel, Jeroen van Koningsbrugge, Huub Smit
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on real events, Francesc Boix is a Spaniard inmate in the Nazi concentration camp of Mauthausen in Austria who tries to save the evidences of the horrors committed inside its walls.

Director: Mar Targarona
Stars: Mario Casas, Richard van Weyden, Alain Hernández
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, banker brothers Walraven and Gijs van Hall face their greatest challenge yet when they decide to help fund the Dutch resistance.

Director: Joram Lürsen
Stars: Jacob Derwig, Barry Atsma, Fockeline Ouwerkerk
Numbered (2012)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Auschwitz prisoners, both Jewish and non-Jewish, were tattooed with serial numbers, first on their chests and then their left arms. An estimated 400,000 numbers were tattooed in Auschwitz ... See full summary »

Directors: Dana Doron, Uriel Sinai
Stars: Ruth Bondi, Danny Chanoch, Ayal Gelles
Milada (2017)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The story of Milada Horáková, democratic pre-WW2 Czech politician first arrested and tried by the Nazis during the War and then the post-war Communist government for her refusal to cease her opposition activity and leave the country.

Director: David Mrnka
Stars: Ayelet Zurer, Robert Gant, Daniel Rchichev
Naked Among Wolves (TV Movie 2015)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

As WWII comes to an end, a group of Buchenwald's emaciated prisoners risk their lives for the safety of the camp's youngest inmate: a four-year-old Auschwitz-born Jewish prisoner. Is there a future for the Buchenwald boy?

Director: Philipp Kadelbach
Stars: Florian Stetter, Peter Schneider, Sylvester Groth
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Seventy years after WWII, Oskar Gröning, one of the last surviving members of the SS, goes on trial as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Director: Matthew Shoychet
Stars: Oskar Gröning, Jeff Ansell, Hedy Bohm
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A group of people are imprisoned in a rail car bound from Berlin to a concentration camp in 1945.

Directors: Joseph Vilsmaier, Dana Vávrová
Stars: Gedeon Burkhard, Lale Yavas, Lena Beyerling
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A team of secret agents set out to track down the Nazi officer who masterminded the Holocaust.

Director: Chris Weitz
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, Mélanie Laurent
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

This meticulously assembled film dissects the Third Reich with an analytical blade, charting Hitler's improbable rise, his mastery of crowd psychology and his consummate skill in exploiting others' weaknesses.

Directors: Joachim Fest, Christian Herrendoerfer
Stars: Gert Westphal, Stephen Murray, Artur Axmann
The Grey Zone (2001)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Nazi doctor, along with the Sonderkommando, Jews who are forced to work in the crematoria of Auschwitz against their fellow Jews, find themselves in a moral grey zone.

Director: Tim Blake Nelson
Stars: David Arquette, Velizar Binev, David Chandler
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vanessa Redgrave ... Fania Fenelon
Jane Alexander ... Alma Rose
Maud Adams ... Mala
Christine Baranski ... Olga
Robin Bartlett ... Etalina
Marisa Berenson ... Elzvieta
Verna Bloom ... Paulette
Donna Haley Donna Haley ... Katrina
Lenore Harris Lenore Harris ... Charlotte
Mady Kaplan ... Varya
Will Lee ... Shmuel
Anna Levine ... Michou
Viveca Lindfors ... Frau Schmidt
Melanie Mayron ... Marianne
Marcell Rosenblatt Marcell Rosenblatt ... Giselle
Edit

Storyline

In World War II, the Jewish French musician and cabaret singer Fania Fenelon Goldstein is sent by the Nazis from Paris to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The guards take her clothing and luggage and they cut her hair very short. One day, when she is very weak, she hears someone asking whether any prisoner could sing Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly and she joins the group of musicians that have been spared from the gas chambers to entertain the Nazis performing music for them. She convinces the conductor Alma Rose to invite her friend Marianne, telling that she would be a talented singer. Along the years of abusive treatment, they survive but losing their dignity. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

30 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Playing for Time See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Szygzy Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite controversy and attempted boycotts, the 3 hour film was the highest viewed program of the week, with 20.4 million American homes watching its debut. See more »

Goofs

Fania Fenelon was sent to Bergen Belson with some of the other Jewish members of the orchestra prior to the liberation of Auschwitz. She was still in Bergen Belson when it was liberated by British troops. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Wedding March
(uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Arranged by Norman Gold
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An Excellent Movie
3 May 2002 | by Lew GordonSee all my reviews

It has been years since I have seen this on TV. Being Jewish and understanding the holocaust, I love this movie with Vanessa Redgrave. I just wish it came on TV more. The visuals were excellent, the plot very real, and it was an absolute delight to see how well it was portrayed.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed