7.4/10
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38 user 24 critic

Music Box (1989)

Clip
1:18 | Clip
A lawyer defends her father accused of war crimes, but there is more to the case than she suspects.

Director:

Costa-Gavras

Writer:

Joe Eszterhas
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Lange ... Ann Talbot
Armin Mueller-Stahl ... Mike Laszlo
Frederic Forrest ... Jack Burke
Donald Moffat ... Harry Talbot
Lukas Haas ... Mikey Talbot
Cheryl Lynn Bruce ... Georgine Wheeler
Mari Töröcsik ... Magda Zoldan
J.S. Block J.S. Block ... Judge Silver
Sol Frieder Sol Frieder ... Istvan Boday
Michael Rooker ... Karchy Laszlo
Elzbieta Czyzewska ... Melinda Kalman
Magda Szekely Marburg Magda Szekely Marburg ... Judit Hollo
Felix Shuman Felix Shuman ... James Nathanson
Michael Shillo Michael Shillo ... Geza Vamos
George Pusep George Pusep ... Vladimir Kostav
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Storyline

Hungarian immigrant Mike Laszlo has done well for himself since arriving in the USA over 40 years ago after WWII's end. He is particularly proud of his daughter, Ann, a successful lawyer. Following the release of some secret WWII records by the Russians, Mike finds himself accused of being a notorious war criminal. He's convinced it's a Communist plot to discredit him and insists that Ann defend him in court. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

As a lawyer all she wanted was the truth. As a daughter all she wanted was his innocence. How well do you really know your father?

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the movie was released, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas' own father, Istvan Eszterhas, was accused of war crimes in Hungary for printing anti-Semitic editorials, and even organizing a book burning. When Istvan admitted the charges were accurate, Joe responded by publicly condemning his father, and disowning him as a parent, later writing that he never reconciled with Istvan, and refused to let him see his grandchildren right up to the point where Istvan died of natural causes. See more »

Quotes

Mack Jones: What do we know about our parents?
See more »

User Reviews

Quietly effective and touching courtroom thriller with very good performances
23 June 2010 | by J. SpurlinSee all my reviews

Jessica Lange is very good as Ann Talbot, a lawyer who takes up the task of defending her father (Armin Mueller-Stahl) against charges of Nazi war crimes. The charges are ridiculous to her at first, but she slowly begins to realize they might be true. Lukas Haas, giving an exceptionally bright-eyed and intelligent performance, plays Ann's 12-year-old son, who believes unquestioningly that his beloved grandfather is innocent.

Roger Ebert wrote that the father, while very well-played by Mueller-Stahl, does not devote enough time to helping us to understand his character, but I don't know that any film could do that for such a person. Mueller-Stahl and the script at least offer suggestions and let our imaginations do the rest.

I found this film, scripted by Joe Eszterhas and directed by Costa-Gavras, to be a quietly effective courtroom thriller (even though the idea of a lawyer defending her own father in this situation requires a high suspension of disbelief) and found the central drama of a woman discovering her father is, or at least was, a monster to be moving.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hungarian

Release Date:

19 January 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Music Box See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,381, 25 December 1989

Gross USA:

$6,263,883

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,263,883
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carolco Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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