Comedian Harmonists (The Harmonists) (1999)
Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 36
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 7
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 965
Joseph Vilsmaier (Stalingrad and Brother of Sleep) directed this fact-based German musical drama about a popular barbershop sextet in Nazi Germany of the '30s. In 1927, musician Harry Frommermann (Ulrich Noethen), attracted to music-shop assistant Erna (Meret Becker), joins ambitious vocalist Robert Biberti (Ben Becker) in forming a vocal group with arranger Erwin (Kai Wiesinger) and Bulgarian cafe-singer Ari (Max Tidof). As their fame increases, the authorities, who object to the Jews in the
Feb 13, 1999 Wide
Jul 2, 2002
Erich A. Collin
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The movie is history as kitsch, not quite on the Life is Beautiful level of manipulation, but clumsy.
The film is filled with stylish renditions of lively, funny and sentimental songs.
A true story from the Nazi era, it deftly fuses politics and show business.
The story of the Comedian Harmonists, who brought to the waning days of Weimar a bubbly frivolity, is a rich one. Rich enough to keep you watching and wanting to know more.
Given the suffering created by the Nazis, the fate of the Harmonists ranks low on the scale. But as one of the countless little stories that add up to the plague of Nazism, they deserve an entry in the chronicle of despair.
... a grandly realized and skillfully executed melodrama that seems all too familiar.
This German film, based on the true story of this legendary vocal ensemble, shows how politics colors everything: no creative soul can ever be apolitical.
Mildly engrossing but, ultimately, the sort of film that demands more attention than it should, The Harmonists resonates with barely a dull thud.
The charismatic quality of the group, the performing magic that made them the big stars they were, is not convincingly demonstrated and that is a major weakness in the film.
If you're in the mood for good musical entertainment, but don't want to spend $100 at the theater, go see The Harmonists.
The Harmonists has a finale that will be appreciated by anyone who loved The Sound of Music. As they say, there won't be a dry eye in the house.
The music -- digitally remastered recordings of the original performers -- is nothing to get worked up over, but the passion and fervor that created it was truly amazing in the face of personal and military terror.
What we have here is a sort of 'before and after' photograph of an era. The details make this specific story interesting, if not riveting.
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