Gloomy Sunday (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Gloomy Sunday (2003)

Gloomy Sunday (2003)

Gloomy Sunday



Critic Consensus: Gloomy Sunday is beautiful, well-acted, and every bit as downcast as its title.

Gloomy Sunday Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Rolf Schuebel makes his directorial debut with this subtly-told true story about one the 1930s' most memorable melodies. Set just prior to WWII, the film focuses on Hungarian beauty Ilona (Erika Marozsan) and her significant other Laszlo Szabo (Joachim Krol), a dapper owner of Budapest's finest restaurant. Though Ilona is known for her prowess on the piano, the two decide to hire a professional as the finishing touch on their classy establishment. They hire Andras (Stefano Dionisi), a taciturn man with a certain mysterious charm. Meanwhile, regular customer and German businessman Hans (Ben Becker) finds himself utterly and completely smitten with the vivacious Ilona. When she spurns his advances, he drunkenly jumps into the Danube. Laszlo manages to rescue him and the three grow to become close friends. At the same time, Andras and Ilona grow to be something more than friends, and -- with the knowledge and approval of Laszlo -- they become lovers. Later, Andras composes a tune dedicated to his new consort and Laszlo quietly arranges for a couple of Austrian record execs to come to the restaurant to listen. Oozing with jaded ennui, the song, sans lyrics, quickly becomes an international success, yet it also seems to cast a dark spell over listeners -- people cannot help but commit suicide. In Hungary alone, 157 people killed themselves in the span of eight weeks. At the same time, the Third Reich marches into Austria. As the film progresses, Hans returns to Budapest, this time as an SS officer. There he offers Laszlo, who is Jewish, and who offers him free passage in exchange for money. This film was screened at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival.more
Rating: R
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Ruth Thoma Andrews, Rolf Schübel, Ruth Toma
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 12, 2006
Box Office: $0.2M


Joachim Król
as Laszlo Szabo
Stefano Dionisi
as Andras Aradi
Erika Marozsan
as Ilona Varnai
Ben Becker
as Hans Wieck
Ulrike Grote
as Haeberle
Rolf Becker
as Wieck as an Old Man
András Bálint
as Ilona's Son
Geza Boros
as Violin Player
Ilse Zielstorff
as Frau Wieck
Ferenc Bacs
as Ambassador
Julia Zsolnai
as Ambassador's Wife
Aron Sipos
as Physician
Ernst Kahl
as Torresz
Jörg Gillner
as Istvan, Head Cook
Denis Moschitto
as Inas, Apprentice
István Mikó
as Potato Seller
Michael Gampe
as Director Novak
Karl Fischer
as Mr. Svoboda
Markus Hering
as Herr Schwitz
Werner Brehm
as Postman
Wanja Mues
as Mr. Mendel
Dorka Gryllus
as Mrs. Mendel
Tibor Kenderesi
as Professor Tajtelbaum
Anna Rackevei
as Seine Nichte
István Kanizsay
as Journalist in Cafe
Veit Stubner
as Wine Supplier
Marta Bako
as Candle Shop Assistan...
Ferenc Nemethy
as Elderly Jew in Wieck...
Stefan Weinert
as SS Officer
Zsuzsa Manyan
as Laszlo's Neighbor
Aurel Haito
as Reporter 1
Gyorgy Kegl
as Reporter 2
Arpad Hetenyi
as Reporter 3
Tanya M. Nagel
as BBC Reporter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Gloomy Sunday

Critic Reviews for Gloomy Sunday

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (22)

It's intelligent, well-acted and beautifully photographed.

Full Review… | May 12, 2005
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Its old-fashioned romanticism is heady, and the relationships among the characters are intriguing.

Full Review… | February 20, 2004
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

It has enough opulent, oversized romanticism to make it a guilty pleasure, not to mention three attractive and appealing characters and, of course, that song.

Full Review… | December 19, 2003
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

It's a stirring and provocative affirmation of the power and resilience of love.

Full Review… | December 11, 2003
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

With the Hungarian song "Gloomy Sunday" as its thematic centerpiece, this personalized story of Budapest during World War II becomes a satisfying romantic drama about four divergently different people.

Full Review… | May 13, 2009

Undoubtedly deserves to be added to the ranks of the best Holocaust films ever made.

Full Review… | May 2, 2007
Princeton Town Topics

Audience Reviews for Gloomy Sunday

creaky melodrama

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer


The story about the song is absurd, the menage-a-trois is not sexy, but the atmosphere is nice and you cant take yours eyes off Erika Marozsan..she is just gorgeous. A little slow, though, and a little uneventful. Really good ending, however, which almost makes me forgive the rest.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Seeing its high rating and believing it to be factual, I pounced upon it. But no sooner did the movie begin I found the proceedings to be too good to be true. And so it obviously was. The factual events are finely woven in this drama. I'd have enjoyed it more had it been without certain scenes. But having seen it, I guess they were necessary, or at least some of them. But I can't have everything my way. Putting that aside, the movie takes a dull start, but gets its grip firm as it advances, then takes a nap, then again becomes interesting,... and so on and forth. This tale of love, lies and betrayal is full of highs and lows. Predictable as it stands, it's interesting nevertheless. In fact, it's so great that (happened to encounter in Trivia section) it's been running daily since 2001 (till at least 10.30.2011 when this was written if the facts were factual!!!) at the Academy Arts Centre Theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand (so what if it's an accommodating 11 seat theater?).

Surely worth a watch... and a gloomy Sunday may help more ;-)

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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