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Immortal Beloved (Special Edition)

399 customer reviews

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(Oct 05, 1999)
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Editorial Reviews

Gary Oldman, Jeroen Krabbe, Isabella Rossellini and Valeria Golino star in IMMORTAL BELOVED, a mesmerizing mystery based on the tumultuous real life of Ludwig van Beethoven. Oldman gives a tour de force performance as the passionate, volatile genius who inspired love and hatred in equal measure. Whether seducing regal followers or criticizing the ruling class, Beethoven made many enemies. But he also had one true love, the unnamed "Immortal Beloved" mentioned in an enigmatic letter discovered upon his death. The thrilling search for the identity of this mystery woman leads us into Beethoven'sdark past, his hidden passions, and, ultimately, into the unparalleled genius of his music.

Special Features

  • Documentary: Beloved Beethoven
  • "Making Of" Featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Culkin, Gary Oldman, Rory Edwards, Hannes Flaschberger, Christopher Fulford
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 1999
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (399 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000K3TN
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,755 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Immortal Beloved (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 132 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth S Graiser on January 22, 2002
Format: DVD
No. You won't learn about the truth of the identity of Beethoven's eponymous title from this marvelous film, told in cinematic episodic jumps, fits and starts and from various points of view each based on an 'interviews' by Anton Schindler afer Ludwig Von Beethoven's death. The plot, at least insofar as the revelation of the true lady behind the tortured Maestro's love, is just so much hooey.
But the evolution of Beethoven as a composer might just be fairly valid, if exaggerated and oversimplified. Beethoven's growing deafness, his outrageously overprotective attitudes towards his nephew (culminating in a botched suicide attempt by the latter), the invasion of Vienna, are all documented and presented in this gorgeous film with, at times, heartbreaking verisimilitude.
And, you will probably never again hear many of Beethoven's most famous pieces without recalling the images of the film. The last movement of the famous 'Moonlight' piano sonata accompanies a furiously rushing coach through the rainy streets so Beethoven can meet his beloved; an image of the composer superimposed against the cosmos accompananies the Ninth Symphony (Choral). And so much more.
Gary Oldman as the composer is perfect. Jeroen Krabbe is just right as his Boswellian friend who seeks the truth at all costs after Beethoven's death.
The settings are sumptuous. You will appreciate the cutting and the editing more and more as the film progresses. Ditto the superb direction. The score is magnificently realized by both orchestra and conductor and pianist, chamber musicians, all involved.
Reality? Nope. A tantalazing suggestion of what might have realistically been? That's more of what you can expect. If you want reality, I suggest you take George R.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Jean Mills on February 3, 2005
Format: DVD
This film has everything I love in it. Beautiful music, beautiful costuming, beautiful locations, beautiful performances, a wonderful screenwriter and director. No one can really complain about the few inaccuracies and yes flaws in this film surely. It amazes me how there can be so many people disappointed in this regard. If you need absolute accuracy, watch a documentary or read a history book. I love films based on real people and events, and I don't mind that there are things "made up" in these films. After all, no one was "there" to repeat dialogue word for word. There must be a lot of fill-in material and you just hope you'll be lucky enough to have someone like Gary Oldman chosen to play the starring role. If you are, you cannot go wrong. You must enjoy period pieces as well as classical music however to enjoy this film.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Steffan Piper VINE VOICE on April 18, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Eulogy delivered by Franz Grillpazer in the Wahring Cemetery at the Maestro's funeral:

Ludwig van Beethoven, the man who inherited and increased, the immortal fame of Handel and Bach of Haydn and Mozart is now no more.

He was an artist. And who will stand beside him? He was an artist. And what he was, he was only through music.

The thorns of life had wounded him deeply. So he held fast to his art even when the gate through which it entered was shut. Music spoke through a deafened ear to he who could no longer hear it. He carried the music in his heart.

Because he shut himself off from the world, they called him hostile. They said he was unfeeling and called him callous. But he was not hard of heart.

It is the finest blades that are most easily blunted, bent or broken. He withdrew from his fellow man after he had given them everything and had received nothing in return. He lived alone because he found no second self.

Thus he was. Thus he died. Thus he will live for all time.


Immortal Beloved is a film that deeply affected not only the course of my life, but also the quality. Yes, I was very much aware of Beethoven before seeing this movie and I had heard the bulk of his music being an active listener of classical music and a student performer. But after seeing the dramatization of some of the more "stormy" and "troubling" portions of his life, played aptly by Gary Oldman, in this lavish production for the modern audience, I came away with an even deeper understanding of not just this man's music, but his contribution for all of us, music as a whole and music as something alive.

...Read more ›
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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on March 19, 2001
Format: DVD
Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the greatest composers-- some would say THE greatest-- in the history of the world. But what of the man himself? His passions, his loves? The humanness behind the genius? "Immortal Beloved," written and directed by Bernard Rose, examines the man behind the music in a dramatization focusing on the mystery behind a letter-- written by Beethoven-- found among his effects after his death in 1827. The letter bears no name or address, but was written to a woman to whom he refers as his "immortal beloved," with nary a clue as to her identity. But in his final will, it is she to whom he bequeaths his estate, and it therefore falls to Beethoven's secretary, Anton Schindler (Jeroen Krabbe), to unravel the mystery and discover her identity. And as Schindler pursues his quest, a portrait of Beethoven, in his most human aspect, emerges. Reminiscent of the approach taken by Orson Welles with "Citizen Kane," Rose presents a riveting study of the enigmatic genius that was Beethoven. He suggests a man driven by passion and ego, who was under appreciated during his lifetime (as great artists often are), and who grew bitter in the wake of the slings and arrows fate so surreptitiously hurled at him. The great irony of his life, of course, was the deafness that deprived him of the aural beauty of his own creation, an affliction Rose implies was brought about through the brutality of a drunken father who would beat his son about the head and ears (And in retrospect, what a testimony to his genius, that he could write such music in his head without ever hearing an actual note). As Beethoven, Gary Oldman gives an outstanding performance, one for which he should have received acclaim that somehow was never forthcoming.Read more ›
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