IMMORTAL BELOVED (1994) Plays with the Fire of Beethoven

IMMORTAL BELOVED brings us memorable writing, passionate acting, exquisite settings, and the sublime music of Ludvig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Set in Europe during the age of Napoleon, the movie begins with Beethoven’s death, and then follows his devoted friend and secretary searching for the identity of Beethoven’s mysterious beloved.

It is the power of music to carry one directly into the mental state of the composer. … Not how you are used to being. Now how you are used to thinking. But like this!

There are so many wonderful moments in the film, including epiphany of the friend who askes then answers the question about why he took such good care of Beethoven:
“He made me see the world in an entirely new light.”

And from the famous letter:

My angel, my all, my other self:
However much you love me, I love you more.
Be calm, for only by calm consideration of our lives can we attain our objective of living together. Be calm, love me. Today, yesterday, what tearful longings for you — for you — for you, my life, my all.

The only flaw in this near-perfect film is its brevity: even 2 hours (and one minute) cannot capture the tumultuous life of LvB. For a deeper grasp of Beethoven’s life and genius, read Jean Christophe (by Romain Rolland), and the chapter on Beethoven in the book The Age of Napoleon, by Will Durant and Ariel Durant.

Written and Directed by Bernard Rose
Runtime: 2 hours and 1 minute

Transcript of the Screenplay at Script-o-rama


Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph
by Jan Swafford
at Google Play books

Beethoven: The Music and the Life
by Lewis Lockwood

Jean Christophe
Romain Rolland


Beethoven Documentary – The Genius of Beethoven 1/3 “The Rebel” (on YouTube)

Watch this Beethoven Film from the Huntley Archives (11:33)

Listen to the Chapter about Beethoven written by Will Durant (1:06:17)

The Beethoven Files (Amazon Prime)

Concerto: A Beethoven Journey (Amazon Prime)

Maestro: Stories of the Great Composers ((Amazon Prime, TV series)