Music Box (1989)

Genres - Drama, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Courtroom Drama, Family Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 25, 1989 (USA)  |   Run Time - 126 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Jessica Lange plays an attorney whose affable Hungarian-immigrant father Armin Mueller-Stahl is arrested. He is threatened with deportation for lying about his activities during World War II; part of the charge is that Mueller-Stahl was a Nazi collaborationist, guilty of wartime atrocities. Absolutely convinced that her father is being railroaded by a revenge-seeking Hungarian communist government, Lange handles Mueller-Stahl's defense, expertly blowing huge holes in prosecuting attorney Frederic Forrest's case. But in doing her own research, Lange discovers that her father has spent a lifetime paying off a blackmailer. Why? In contrast to the fervency of his earlier Z, Costa-Gavras refuses to make things easy by proselytizing in The Music Box (nor does screenwriter Joe Esterhas indulge in his usual right-between-the-eyes fervency). Everything in the film is offered on the same calm, collected level, making the ultimate horror of the story all the more effective.

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Keywords

blackmail, daughter, father, lawyer, Nazi, trial [courtroom], war-crimes