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5 Cello Movies to Watch During the Crisis

While some places are opening up, many of us are still affected by stay-at-home orders and canceled gigs. Here are 5 cello movies to keep us all going.

Cello movies – cello movies everywhere. Where to begin? We started by looking for films made before the year 2000 so that 1) some cellists may not have seen them – or may not have seen them in decades, and 2) they might be more easily accessible online.

As our readers are spread across the globe, we cannot guarantee that each of these films will be accessible at your location, but we hope you can find several, if not all, of them.

Of the nearly fifty films we considered, we chose five to get you started and plan to have other lists in the future. If you decide to watch these first five, that gives you almost nine hours of cello movie viewing time.


Love in the Afternoon

Lobby Card from Love in the Afternoon showing Audrey Hepburn with her cello, Maurice Chevalier, and Gary Cooper. Copyright by production studio and/or distributor. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStillsDB.

Lobby Card from Love in the Afternoon showing Audrey Hepburn with her cello, Maurice Chevalier, and Gary Cooper. Copyright by the production studio and/or distributor. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStillsDB.

The first of our five cello movies is a 1957 American black-and-white film set in Paris: Love in the Afternoon. Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond wrote the screenplay, based on a 1920 novel, Ariane, jeune fille russe by Claude Anet.

The movie trailer claims that this is the story of “The love affair that will be felt around the world.” While the cello is not essential to the story, it – and its case – is featured frequently in the film.

The main characters are:

  1. Audrey Hepburn as Ariane Chavasse, a French cello student
  2. Gary Cooper as Frank Flanagan, a rich American playboy, and
  3. Maurice Chevalier as Claude Chavasse, a private investigator – and Ariane’s father.

Read more about Love in the Afternoon here.

Where to Find the Film

The film was easy to find online in the USA. We found it on Netflix DVD, to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime Video, to purchase on Amazon as a DVD or Blu-ray, and for free on YouTube:*


Cello Hiki no Gauche

Still of Gauche from Cello Hiki No Gauche.

Screenshot of Gauche from Cello Hiki no Gauche. Copyright by the production studio and/or distributor. Intended for editorial use only.

Our next selection is a Japanese anime film from 1982, called Cello Hiki no Gauche, based on a short story by Kenji Miyazawa. There have been several film adaptations of this story (1949, 1953, and 1963).

This version runs for about an hour but took six years to complete. Isao Takahata directed the film and wrote the screen adaptation. The animation studio was Oh! Production. Unlike our previous selection, in this film, the cello is pivotal to the plot.

 Read more about Cello Hiki no Gauche here.

Where to Find the Film

We found it on Amazon as Gauche the Cellist on DVD and Blu-ray at a premium price. At the time of publication of this article, the film is available for free on YouTube in the USA, and we hope it is free from other locations as well.*

Here is the full movie on YouTube:


Kolja

Zdeněk Svěrák as Kolja. Screenshot from Kolja.

Zdeněk Svěrák as Louka. Screenshot from Kolja. Copyright by the production studio and/or distributor. Intended for editorial use only.

Our next selection is the critically acclaimed, Academy Award-winning 1996 Czech film, Kolja (or Kolya), based on a story by Pavel Taussig. Set 1988-89 in what was then Czechoslovakia, right before the Velvet Revolution, this film explores what is important in life – family, music, life, and death.

This film is a father-son collaboration: father Zdeněk Svěrák wrote the screenplay and plays Louka, the cellist, and son Jan Svěrák is the director.

 A Story that Stays with You

Of all of the films we watched for this review, this is the one that keeps coming to mind. Those used to American films might find the pacing slow; however, we found it visually poetic.

Read more about Kolja here.

 Where to Find the Film

When we originally saw this film in the 1990s, it was available in English as Kolya. Netflix DVD service in the USA has it under that title. At the time of publication of this article, it is available in the USA in digital form for free for Prime members on Amazon or to rent or purchase as Kolja.

Check both titles to find DVDs, Blu-Rays, and even VHS copies. If you can’t find it in your area under one title, be sure to check the other.* The film is about 105 minutes long.

We also found the full movie for free here on YouTube:


Truly, Madly, Deeply

Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply. Copyright by BBC and other relevant production studios and distributors. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStills DB'

Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply. Copyright by BBC and other relevant production studios and distributors. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStills DB.

The fourth film on our list is Truly, Madly, Deeply (1990), a British film that viewers tend either to love or to hate. This is the director and screenwriter Anthony Minghella’s first film before he made The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Cold Mountain.

Juliet Stevenson stars as Nina and a young Alan Rickman as her cellist lover or husband, Jamie. Minghella used the cello symbolically throughout this film.

Truly, Madly, Deeply in Grief Counseling

One of the reasons we chose to include this cello movie is that it is sometimes used in grief counseling. This film explores how relationships change, and how people offer support to those who have lost a loved one, as well as ideas about choosing to live for the past or for the future.

Read more about Truly, Madly, Deeply here.

Where to Find the Film

Of all of the films on this list, this was the most difficult to find, but it was worth the effort. In the USA it is available on DVD from Netflix, and we were able to purchase a DVD on Amazon.* Since we could not find a free copy online, here is the trailer:


The Living Daylights

Lobby card from The Living Daylights showing Bond and Kara sledding down a mountain in her cello case. Copyright by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, United Artists, Danjaq, S.A., eon and other relevant production studios and distributors. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStillsDB.

Lobby card from The Living Daylights showing Bond and Kara sledding down a mountain in her cello case. Copyright by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, United Artists, Danjaq, S.A., eon, and other relevant production studios and distributors. Intended for editorial use only. Source: MovieStillsDB.

The final film on our list today is The Living Daylights, the 1987 Timothy Dalton James Bond film based on a short story by Ian Fleming. Maryam d’Abo plays the part of the cellist (and sniper) Kara Milovy.

This cello movie is an action-packed, James Bond romp through age-old cello gags that will probably inspire both groans and laughter. This cello movie is a 2-hour and 10-minute light-hearted but exciting escape from the real world.

Read more about The Living Daylights here.

Where to Find the Film

We were able to rent (or purchase) a digital copy of this film here in the USA, purchase it as a DVD or Blu-Ray, or get it on DVD from Netflix, but we could not find it on YouTube.*

Since there is no full-length, free YouTube option, here is the trailer:


We hope you can all go back to your usual cello activities soon. In the meantime, enjoy these cello movies.

Your Turn

What are your favorite cello movies? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.



* Unfortunately, we cannot test viewing options from other regions, and YouTube videos come and go. Be sure to check DVD viewing formats in your area before purchasing.
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Comments(2)

  1. Reply
    Rain Worthington says:

    And, of course there’s the crazy scene from the Witches of Eastwick with Susan Sarandon unleashing her dormant passions through the cello for Jack Nicholson. https://youtu.be/YF6FluTRdD0

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