Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
Filmed Performances: Index by Work | Index by Main Performer
Bach's Music in Soundtracks: Index by Title | Index by Year
General: Index by Number | Discussions of Movies on Bach

Bach Movies



Music of the Heart (I)








Film: Oct 1999 (USA)
DVD: Apr 2000
VHS: Oct 2000


Wes Craven


Pamela Gray


Meryl Streep (Roberta Guaspari); Angela Bassett (Principal Janet Williams); Aidan Quinn (Brian Turner); Cloris Leachman (Assunta Guaspari); Gloria Estefan (Isabel Vasquez); Jane Leeves (Dorothea von Haeften); Kieran Culkin (Lexi at 15); Charlie Hofheimer (Nick at 17); Michael Angarano (Nick at 7); Henry Dinhofer (Lexi at 5); Barbara Gonzalez (Janet's Secretary); Jay O. Sanders (Dan Paxton); Cole Hawkins (Lawrence at 5); Justin 'DJ' Spaulding (Naeem Adisa at 9 - as Justin Spaulding); Jade Yorker (DeSean at 11)


The true story of a young teacher who fights against the board of education in her bid to teach underprivileged kids in a Harlem school the beauty of music through the violin. In her struggle she loses everything as the system comes down on her with all their might but her determination for the kids happiness helps her to battle back with wonderfully inspirational results. (Kryp)

Why, you might ask, would Wes Craven direct a conventional biopic about Roberta Guaspari, a divorced mother of two who created an acclaimed music program in East Harlem's troubled school system? After all, Craven built his career on Freddy Krueger and the Scream trilogy, and you won't find razor-tipped gloves or a single drop of blood in Music of the Heart. All Craven has to do is provide a safe working environment for Meryl Streep (who earned an obligatory Oscar nomination), sublimate his deft directorial style, and surrender to the banalities of Pamela Gray's screenplay, which would've played more effectively on cable TV.
To be fair, Music of the Heart (partially inspired by the 1996 documentary Small Wonders) serves its purpose quite nicely. Streep is flawless in a non-showy role, and the story of Guaspari's celebrated violin training program provides the requisite rush of inner-city inspiration. As a fact-based companion to Mr. Holland's Opus, the film is less effective but similarly engaging; you'd have to be cold-hearted to dismiss it altogether. It's best when focusing on Guaspari's school program and the 10-year struggle to keep it alive; the drama falters when dealing half-heartedly with her tentative relationships, notably with a journalist (Aidan Quinn) who shies from commitment. And Craven? He seems content to direct by the numbers here, leaving inspiration on the screen while forfeiting his own. (Jeff Shannon,

Two-time Academy Award(R)-winner Meryl Streep (1983 Best Actress, SOPHIE'S CHOICE; 1980 Best Supporting Actress, KRAMER vs. KRAMER) stars with Angela Bassett (HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK) in a heartwarming, acclaimed true story of how one woman's musical gift affected those who least expected it. A single mother with little more than talent and the determination to make a difference, Roberta Guaspari (Streep) overcame the skepticism of everyone who didn't think she should be teaching violin to students in a tough inner-city neighborhood. But even after a decade of ever-growing popularity and countless success stories, Roberta and her kids must rise to meet an even greater challenge: budget cuts aimed at shutting down her valuable program for good! Also starring Aidan Quinn (PRACTICAL MAGIC) and Grammy-winner Gloria Estefan in a stellar cast, this extraordinary story will inspire anyone who's ever thought their dreams were too far out of reach! (




124 min

J.S. Bach's Music:

Suite for solo cello No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007
The Young Musicians Foundation

Minuet No. 1, arranged by Dr Shinichi Suzuki
The Young Musicians Foundation

Concerto for 2 violins & strings in D minor ("Double"), BWV 1043 , arranged by Dr Shinichi Suzuki
Performed by Joshua Bell, Karen Briggs, Jonathan Feldman, Diane Monroe,

Mark O'Connor, Sandra Park, Itzhak Perlman, Arnold Steinhardt, Isaac Stern, Michael Tree, Charles Veal Jr and The Young Musicians Foundation


Film: Color (DeLuxe), Dolby Digital
DVD: See below.
VHS: See below.


Film: Craven-Maddalena Films; Miramax Films
DVD: Miramax; Konowelt
VHS: Miramax/ Walt Disney Home Video; ArtHaus


Watch selections:

Buy movie at:

DVD: [Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC, Region 1] | [NTSC, Region 1] | [PAL, German, English, Region 2]
VHS: [Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC] | [PAL] | [PAL, German]


Source/Links: IMDB
Contributor: Aryeh Oron (November 2007)

Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
Filmed Performances: Index by Work | Index by Main Performer
Bach's Music in Soundtracks: Index by Title | Index by Year
General: Index by Number | Discussions of Movies on Bach


Back to the Top

Last update: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 09:48