Top 23 Mesmerizing Classical Music-Themed Movies
News > Top 23 Mesmerizing Classical Music-Themed Movies
Music appeared in the cinema even before speech. All those movies from the silent era were not silent at all! All genres of music, especially classical music, have always been one of the most significant elements in movies throughout film history.
How about movies “about” music, then? We’ve made a list of 23 classical music-themed movies, some of which are based on great composers’ lives -either real or fictional- and some are the stories of incredibly skilled, yet not so appreciated or recognized musicians. Also, you’ll find the stories about what it’s like to be a musician in hard times like war.
Storylines are from IMDb, and the ranking is done according to IMDb ratings. 23. The Soloist (2009) | IMDb 6.7
The Soloist http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0821642/
In 2005, the only thing hurting Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez more than his face from a recent bike accident was his pressing need for story ideas. That is when he discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a mentally ill, homeless street musician who possesses extraordinary talent, even through his half-broken instruments...
22. Music of the Heart (1999) | IMDb 6.7
Music of the Heart http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166943/
The true story of a young teacher who fights against the board of education in her bid to teach underprivileged kids in a Harlem school the beauty of music through the violin. In her struggle she loses everything as the system comes down on her with all their might but her determination for the kids happiness helps her to battle back with wonderfully inspirational results.
21. Copying Beethoven (2006) | IMDb 6.8
Copying Beethoven http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0424908/
Vienna, 1824. In the days before the first performance of the Ninth Symphony, Beethoven needs help with copying out the charts, so a promising student of composition, Anna Holtz, 23, is sent to assist him. She not only aids the transcription of the notes, she provides guidance from the orchestra pit as Beethoven conducts the work's debut. During the next two years, the final ones of Beethoven's life, Anna provides assistance to the deaf, temperamental, ailing man. In return, he tutors her in composition and explains to her the ideas and principles of Romanticism...
20. The Page Turner (2006) | IMDb 7.1
La tourneuse de pages http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0487503/
The girl Mélanie Prouvost is the beloved daughter of the butchers Mrs. Prouvost and Mr. Prouvost. She is an aspirant pianist and her parents make her application to the Conservatory. During the entrance exam, she begins with a great performance but she is distracted by one member of the admittance board, Ariane, and she fails. Years later, Mélanie is a teenager that has just finished high-school and she is accepted as intern of the law firm owned by the prominent lawyer Mr. Fouchécourt.
19. A Late Quartet (2012) | IMDb 7.1
A Late Quartet http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1226240/
After a classical string quartet's 25 years of success, Peter, the cellist and oldest member, decides that he must retire when he learns he has Parkinson's Disease. For the others, that announcement proves a catalyst for letting their hidden resentments come to the surface while the married members' daughter has disruptive desires of her own. All this threatens to tear the group apart even as they are famous for playing Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14, opus 131, a piece that is played non-stop no matter how life interferes.
18. Mr. Holland's Opus (1995) | IMDb 7.3
Mr. Holland's Opus http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113862/
Glenn Holland is a musician and composer who takes a teaching job to pay the rent while, in his 'spare time', he can strive to achieve his true goal - compose one memorable piece of music to leave his mark on the world. As Holland discovers 'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans' and as the years unfold the joy of sharing his contagious passion for music with his students becomes his new definition of success.
17. Four Minutes (2006) | IMDb 7.4
Vier Minuten http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0461694/
In Germany, the elder Frau Traude Krueger gives piano classes in a prison for a few prisoners and the security guard Mütze. When she sees the rebel and aggressive Jenny Von Loeben playing piano, she immediately identifies her potential and offers to teach her for a competition. Frau Krueger finds that Jenny was a prodigy when she was a child; abused when she was a teenager and has been imprisoned for murdering and decapitating a man. Along the period they work together preparing for the exhibition, Frau Krueger discloses secrets about her love in World War II while the self-destructive Jenny has four minutes of glory and recognition of her talent.
16. The Phantom of the Opera (2004) | IMDb 7.4
The Phantom of the Opera http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0293508/
Begins when an opera ghost terrorizes the cast and crew of the French Opera House while tutoring a chorus girl. He finally drives the lead soprano crazy so she and her friend leave. The girl is able to sing lead one night but the soprano doesn't want her show stolen so she comes back. The ghost demands they keep giving his protégé lead roles. Meanwhile, His pupil falls in love with the Vicomte de Chagny, but the Phantom is in love with Christine, his student. The Phantom is outraged by their love and kidnaps Christine to be his eternal bride. Will Raoul, the Vicomte, be able to stop this dastardly plan?
15. The Piano Teacher (2001) | IMDb 7.4
La pianiste http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0254686/
Erika Kohut is a pianist, teaching music. Schubert and Schumann are her forte, but she's not quite at concert level. She's approaching middle age, living with her mother who is domineering then submissive; Erika is a victim then combative. With her students she is severe. She visits a sex shop to watch DVDs; she walks a drive-in theater to stare at couples having sex. Walter is a self-assured student with some musical talent; he auditions for her class and is forthright in his attraction to her. She responds coldly then demands he let her lead. Next she changes the game with a letter, inviting him into her fantasies. How will he respond; how does sex have power over our other faculties?
14. Hilary and Jackie (1998) | IMDb 7.4
Hilary and Jackie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0150915/
British sisters Hilary du Pré and Jacqueline du Pré are both talented musicians, Hilary a flautist, Jackie a cellist. With regard to their musical prowess, they have always had a friendly competitive nature with each other, fueled in large part by the want of their pianist mother, Iris, for them to achieve musical greatness. But underlying this friendliness is a deep desire to be truly better than the other. Despite or perhaps in part because of her flamboyant performance style, the younger Jackie emerges from the shadows of older Hilary's more triumphant childhood successes to become the renowned musician in the family.
13. Immortal Beloved (1994) | IMDb 7.5
Immortal Beloved http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110116/
The life and death of the legendary Ludwig van Beethoven. Beside all the work he is known for, the composer once wrote a famous love letter to a nameless beloved and the movie tries to find out who this beloved was. Not easy as Beethoven has had many women in his life.
12. The Piano (1993) | IMDb 7.6
The Piano http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107822/
It is the mid-nineteenth century. Ada is a mute who has a young daughter, Flora. In an arranged marriage she leaves her native Scotland accompanied by her daughter and her beloved piano. Life in the rugged forests of New Zealand's North Island is not all she may have imagined and nor is her relationship with her new husband Stewart. She suffers torment and loss when Stewart sells her piano to a neighbour, George. Ada learns from George that she may earn back her piano by giving him piano lessons, but only with certain other conditions attached. At first Ada despises George but slowly their relationship is transformed and this propels them into a dire situation.
11. The concert (2009) | IMDb 7.6
Le concert http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1320082/
Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by accident that the Châtelet Theater in Paris invites the Bolshoi orchestra to play there. He decides to gather together his former musicians and to perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi orchestra. As a solo violin player to accompany his old Jewish or Gypsy musicians he wants Anne-Marie Jacquet, a young virtuoso. If they all overcome the hardships ahead this very special concert will be a triumph.
10. August Rush (2007) | IMDb 7.6
August Rush http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0426931/
The story of a charismatic young Irish guitarist and a sheltered young cellist who have a chance encounter one magical night above New York's Washington Square, but are soon torn apart, leaving in their wake an infant, August Rush, orphaned by circumstance. Now performing on the streets of New York and cared for by a mysterious stranger, August uses his remarkable musical talent to seek the parents from whom he was separated at birth.
9. A Heart in Winter (1992) | IMDb 7.7
Un coeur en hiver http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105682/
Beautiful violin virtuoso Camille has two obsessions: the music of Ravel, and a friend of her husband's who crafts violins. But his heart seems to be as cold as her playing is passionate.
8. Shine (1996) | IMDb 7.7
Based on the true story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, this delightful movie charts the traumatic early years through adulthood. Telling the story in flashback we see David as a child prodigy and as he grows up while his patriarchal father abuses him and his siblings with the memory of his childhood in Europe and the loss of his family in the concentration camps. David finally breaks away from his father and goes away to study overseas, he later suffers a breakdown and returns to Australia and a life in an institution.
7. Kolya (1996) | IMDb 7.8
Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing at funerals and painting tombstones. But he has run up a large debt, and when his friend, the grave-digger Mr. Broz, suggests a scheme for making a lot of money by marrying a Russian woman so that she can get her Czech papers, he reluctantly agrees. She takes advantage of the situation to emigrate to West Germany, to her lover; and leaves her five-year-old son with his grandmother; when the grandmother dies, Kolya must come and live with his stepfather - Louka.
6. The Red Violin (1998) | IMDb 7.8
Le violon rouge http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120802/
In present day Montreal, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, known as 'the red violin,' is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of 'the red violin.'
5. Departures (2008) | IMDb 8.1
Daigo Kobayashi is a devoted cellist in an orchestra that has just been dissolved and now finds himself without a job. Daigo decides to move back to his old hometown with his wife to look for work and start over. He answers a classified ad entitled 'Departures' thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agency only to discover that the job is actually for a 'Nokanshi' or 'encoffineer,' a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and others despise the job, Daigo takes a certain pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of 'Nokanshi,' acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the family of the departed.
4. The Legend of 1900 (1998) | IMDb 8.1
La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120731/
1900. Danny Boodmann, a stoker on an American passenger liner, Virginian, finds a baby abandoned on the ship. He names the child Danny Boodmann T.D. Lemon Nineteen Hundred '1900' and raises the child as his own until his death in an accident on the ship. The child never leaves the ship and turns out to be a musical genius, especially when it comes to playing the piano. As an adult he befriends a trumpet player in the ship's band, Max Tooney. After several years on the ship Max leaves, and tells the story of 1900 to the owner of a music store.
3. Autumn Sonata (1978) | IMDb 8.3
After having neglected her children for many years, world famous pianist Charlotte visits her daughter Eva in her home. To her surprise she finds her other daughter, Helena, there as well. Helena is mentally disabled, and Eva has taken Helena out of the institution where their mother had placed her. The tension between Charlotte and Eva only builds up slowly, until a nightly conversation releases all the things they have wanted to tell each other.
2. Amadeus (1984) | IMDb 8.3
Antonio Salieri believes that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music is divine and miraculous. He wishes he was himself as good a musician as Mozart so that he can praise the Lord through composing. He began his career as a devout man who believes his success and talent as a composer are God's rewards for his piety. He's also content as the respected, financially well-off, court composer of Austrian Emperor Joseph II. But he's shocked to learn that Mozart is such a vulgar creature, and can't understand why God favored Mozart to be his instrument. Salieri's envy has made him an enemy of God whose greatness was evident in Mozart. He is ready to take revenge against God and Mozart for his own musical mediocrity.
1. The Pianist (2002) | IMDb 8.5
The Pianist http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0253474/
A brilliant pianist, a Polish Jew, witnesses the restrictions Germans place on Jews in the Polish capital, from restricted access to the building of the Warsaw ghetto. As his family is rounded up to be shipped off to the German Nazi labor camps, he escapes deportation and eludes capture by living in the ruins of Warsaw.