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Beethoven Lives Upstairs


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Beethoven Lives Upstairs + Peter and the Wolf + Classical Kids: Mr. Bach Comes to Call
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Product Details

  • Actors: Neil Munro, Illya Woloshyn, Fiona Reid, Paul Soles, Albert Schultz
  • Directors: David Devine
  • Writers: Heather Conkie
  • Producers: David Devine, Richard Mozer, Terence Robinson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Live, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alliance
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 51 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006RJAA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,271 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beethoven Lives Upstairs" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Based on the best-selling and award-winning Classical Kids CD, Beethoven Lives Upstairs was hailed upon its original release as "a video masterpiece" by the Boston Herald and "the best family film to appear in a long time" by the Ottawa Citizen. The television special has been seen on HBO, PBS, CBC, the Family Channel and YTV and the home video has sold more than 250,000 copies in North America. Based in part on historical fact and featuring more than 25 beautifully-performed excerpts of Beethoven’s best-loved works, Beethoven Lives Upstairs presents the great composer as a hero for today’s children.

Customer Reviews

Great story and great music.
W. Hagan
Beethoven lived a very troubled life and it puts his genius and suffering into a language that children not only understand but embrace.
Nancy O'Gorman
It's a great way to introduce young kids to classical music.
Candace Haugh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 71 people found the following review helpful By "kmmdaley" on December 13, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Our family (girls ages 4 and 6) loved the CD by the same name so much that we bought the video too. We were impressed at the ability of the writers and director to rearrange the story and the music to fit a film version. I realized that I knew nothing of Beethoven and read his biography after viewing the video. Then I was really impressed to find how much accurate information about Beethoven's life was interwoven into the story. Although we prefer the CD version, I think that seeing the period costume and setting helped the girls place the story in an historical context. We are now all Beethoven fans and listen to his music with new appreciation.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Nancy O'Gorman on December 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Excellent video for children. I teach elementary school music and it puts a personal face on a distant genius. Beethoven lived a very troubled life and it puts his genius and suffering into a language that children not only understand but embrace. After watching this video they want to know more about Beethoven and his music.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By ColoraturaSoprano on July 18, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This video is (as most media works are) based on many multifaceted specuations surrounding Beethoven's life. However, there are many "theories" about the final days of his life, and this particular "theory" is clean, and excellent for children.
I distinctly remember watching it in the fourth grade, and being a classical soprano myself, finding I was absolutley enchanted with the entire idea. It sparked an interest in Beethoven's life, which, years later, lead to the reading of many a biography and viewing of "Immortal Beloved", a movie which immediatly became my favorite. Therefore, I would most definitely recommend this movie, (for children) it is succinct, clean, to the point, and for me, inspiring. Take it from one who viewed it as a child many a time, children will adore "Beethoven Lives Upstairs."
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
We borrowed this tape from a local library and our kids (5 & 2 years old) loved it. We had watched it at least half a dozen times in a week. It gives the audience an appreciation of what Beethovan's final days were like when he was composing his last symphony.
We will buy this tape so the entire family can watch it again and again.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
This video and the CD of same title are both beautifully made. Portions of the composer's most famous selections become part of the backdrop to the story of Beethoven's relationship with a young boy. An appreciation develops for the composer as a human being with human needs and frailties.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Julia Moore on January 1, 2006
Format: DVD
This Emmy-winning film is visually beautiful and moving, and also very accurate historically. Like the boy in the movie, a real-life young boy named Gerhard von Breuning enjoyed a special relationship with the composer while residing nearby. As an adult, von Breuning wrote about his experiences in a book titled after the name of Beethoven's building, Aus dem Schwarzspanierhaus. The talented actor who plays Beethoven (Neil Munro) looks remarkably like pictures of Beethoven from this period in his life. Much of the dialogue is drawn from Beethoven's own letters, conversation books, and other writings, and most of the action really took place. The musical score includes performances of Beethoven's masterpieces by some of the best international performers. This is one of my favorite DVDs, and very popular with friends to whom I have lent it. Highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is a really terrific, educational, and exciting film to watch with children say, from 5 years old to 12 years old. I'm buying another copy now because I'm dying to see it with some more children.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. Jones on February 26, 2011
Format: DVD
First, kudos to the reviewers of "Beethoven Lives Upstairs" who understand the difference between entertainment and a biography. They, as I, appreciated:

* how the creators of this fine movie were faithful to Beethoven -- his music, his tantrums with the maid (REALLY DID HAPPEN), his "half nudity" (REALLY DID HAPPEN) and his explosive temperament (REALLY DID HAPPEN).
* the creators applied snippets of his beautiful music to illustrate the drama, comedy et al of not only Beethoven's personality, but the movie's plot as well.
* Neil Munro's uncanny characterization of Beethoven. Of the Beethoven movies out there (Immortal Beloved, Copying Beethoven), Munro's Beethoven was spot-on. His body type, face, expressions, personality, all were as if he lifted them from Beethoven biographies.
* the creators' full respect for Beethoven. Beethoven himself took pride in being "fiery". And yes, he was a cool guy: He loved kids and animals, all of nature. He despised the aristocracy ('though he needed them) and anyone who didn't appreciate music as art.

Now, a slap on the head to the detractors. THE MOVIE IS ENTERTAINMENT. It is NOT a biography. It has just so much time to tell one-tenth of Beethoven's story that will appeal to kids and not lose their interest. The movie cannot possibly contain all of Beethoven's works! And if you don't like the "maid violence" and his so-called nudity, I gotta say: It must be tough living with your head in the sand. This movie has all the drama, comedy and APPROPRIATE realism that's suitable for kids. If you don't like the bare-minimum reality of his life, scrub your kids' eyeballs clean and crawl back into your hole. Sheesh.
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