Monday, February 6, 2012

Beethoven on Film: The Abel Gance Version

In our new book, I write at length about film treatments of Beethoven, from the silent era to A Clockwork Orange and Immortal Beloved (which starred new Oscar nominee Gary Oldman).   One of the most interesting of all, and much admired by Pauline Kael, was Un Grand Amour de Beethoven, directed by one of the greats, Abel Gance, in the 1930s.  It's not up to his earlier Napoleon but here's a clip that shows Ludwig battling with hearing loss and then, in wild fashion,  writing his Pastoral symphony.  Actor Harry Baur, who was Jewish, was later rounded up by the Gestapo, tortured and killed. 

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