Silver Screen Notes (U-Z)
Ulysses'Gaze / /
A long slow moving film depicting the wartorn history of the Balkans. Harvey Keitel stars as a movie maker searching for three lost reels of film made there in the early part of this century. Accordion music in soundtrack.
Umbrellas of Cherbourg / Jacque Demy / 1964
Catherine Deneuve and her boy friend go dancing and the orchestra has an accordion. You can't see what type it is but you can see one of the bandmembers squeezing on it. The sound track is heavily accordion for the dance songs. Musicians were uncredited. The music was by Michel LeGrand. It is still a great movie, even after 32 years.
Its a real nostalgia experience for a lost civilization. Can you imagine typical teenagers going to the opera? The women are always perfectly made up, always wear dresses, dress for dinner, and always totter around on high heels. All the men wear suits and ties. Everybody's grammar is correct. By the time they re-release it another 32 years we'll be back to wearing animal skins.
Untamed Heart / Tony Bill / 1993
USA. One sees a woman with a (red MOTS) piano accordion at a New Year Eve party
stars Christian Slater...there is a short scene with an accordion...I don't know that I heard it but I did see it.
Unter den Bruumlacken / Helmut Kauumlatner / 1945
Germany. Carl Raddatz accompanies himself on a 2 1/2 row box.
Urga (Close to Eden) / Nikita Mikhalkov / 1992
Edward Artemyev is the composer. The Mongol's daughter plays Paso Dobles; the soundtrack includes "Les Collines de Mandchourie" played by Richard Galliano. I've just finished type setting this tune (which in the local Irish pub is known as `Waltzin' to Mongolia). I've put the .abc file, the .ps file and the .gif file online at my website.
Used People / Beeban Kidron / 1992
Marcello Mastroianni stars as an older, accordion-playing Italian gent who ardently pursues a recently-widowed, Jewish neighbor lady. There are a couple scenes where he teaches the widow's confused young grandson nicknamed Swee' Pea how to play the accordion. Swee' Pea learns well enough to play at the couple's wedding at the end of the movie.
Utomlionie Solntsem (Burnt by the Sun) / Nikita Mikhalkov
Edward Artemyev is the composer. Begins and ends with a scene of two people dancing to the music of a single accordionist.
Vdovstvo Karoline Zasler / Matjaz Klopcic / 1976 /
Slovenian. Radko Polic plays an accordion player.
Verhängnis / Fred Kelemen / 1995
German made film about Russian emigrants in Berlin, starts off with a wailing accordion.
Victor/Victoria / Blake Edwards / 1983
Henry Mancini's movie score has an accordion prominently featured in the Overture (the accordian plays the melody of Mancini's "Crazy World", in a style reminiscent of early 1900s France).
A Walk in the Clouds / / 1995
Starring Keanu Reeves and Anthony Quinn. The scene is toward the end, with one of the men sitting under a tree playing a PA. Short scene, but it's there.
Weltmeister / Zoran Solumun / 1993
Germany. Named after the accordion brand! The 12 year old son of a Russian major who is stationed in Germany wanders from the base and gets accordion lessons from a 14 year old German girl, who is preparing for an accordion contest in Klingenthal. He plays a three row bayan, she plays a Weltmeister piano accordion, with free bass (9 rows of bass buttons). The music is composed by Milimir Dravskovic. The accordion playing is credited to Gerhard Scherer. Also features accordion figurines and a repairman in action.
Whale Music / Richard J. Lewis / 1994
Canadian film with Maury Chaykin and Paul Gross. One scene has Chaykin, playing a Brian Wilson character who plays an accordion to the sea, trying to call in the whales.
When Father Was Away on Business / Emir Kusturica /
many accordion scenes (the same little boy as in "Time of the Gypsies").
When Night Is Falling / Patricia Rozema / 1995 /
Canadian film in which there is a minute or two of accordion music (the instrument is never seen).
Wild Rose / /
has Oscar Frykmans button box orchestra in it from Chisolm, MN
Window to Paris / /
Accordion is heard in the soundtrack. Sweet comedy about a magical window which allows a group of Russians to step into Paris.
Wings of Desire / Wim Wenders / 1986
An angel played by Bruno Ganz falls in love with a circus trapeze artist, Marion, played by Solveig Dommartin. There is a button accordion in the circus band, and at one point, the accordionist plays a solo for the sad Marion.
With a Song in My Heart / Walter Lang / 1952
WWII movie in which Susan Hayward plays a singer, Jane Froman who entertains the American troops singing. Her back up band features quite prominently a very good accordionist. We see him playing several times. A very young Richard Wagner plays a shell shocked soldier.
Witness for the Prosecution / Billy Wilder / 1957
There's a flashback where Marlene Dietrich's character is a singer/piano accordionist in a sleazy dive where a fight breaks out. After the fight, she's crawling around in the rubble obviously searching desperately for something... a guy asks her what she's looking for; she replies "My accordion." The fellow says he'll help her look, takes one eager step forward, and her poor PA lets out a wheeze when he accidentally treads on it. She glares at him furiously and snarls "Step on it again; it's still breathing."
A Woman's Guide to Adultery / David Hayman / 1993
Brief glimpse of a tiny bit of an accordion in this British film. A couple visiting Paris is looking down from their hotel room window and an old man is playing a PA in the street. This is a better audio than visual spotting, since the accordionist gets such a nice close-up that his instrument is all but out of shot except for the part just underneath his chin, but at least you can hear it.
A Woman of Paris / Charlie Chaplin / 1923
This is NOT a comedy, but was one of the great dramas of the silent era--one of the first to have realistic acting. Chaplin directed, and Edna Purviance and Adolph Menjou starred. At the very end, Edna hitches a ride on a peasant cart, and one of the farmers is playing a one-row button box of some kind.
You Can't Have Everything / Norman Taurog / 1937
Frank Yaconelli plays an accordion player.
There's an accordion in this old Kirk Doulglas film.
Zorba the Greek / Michael Cacoyannis / 1964
Greek. I was channel surfing when I heard squeezing, briefly. I stopped to see what it was, and a few minutes later a goat jumps over the wall,followed by the pretty little widow, whereupon I remembered what movie I was watching. Alan Bates, Lila Kedrova, Irene Pappas star.