This is a listing of the movies, films and video footage that feature the hurdy-gurdy
in some way.
Please contact us if you have comments, additions,
corrections or questions about this page. The contributor or source is noted
if we haven't seen it the movie, including Scott Williams'
The Bagpipes go to the Movies page, which is denoted [SW]. Thanks to the
Internet Movie Database for filling
in the details. Contributors include Dewey Franklin [DF], Fekke de Jager [FJ],
Gene Pace [GP], Katie Roe [KR] and Thomas Slye [TS] .
- The Black Robe
- 1991, directed by Bruce Beresford. A Canadian film about French Jesuit
missionaries in Canada in the 17th century, and their interactions with the
Algonquins. Features Daniel Thonon and Denis Plante of Ad Vielle Que Pourra,
and Gilles Plante was a music consultant. [GP] There's a campfire scene where
the hurdy-gurdy is clearly visible and audible.
- Captains Courageous
- 1937, b/w. Spencer Tracy plays Manuel, a Portuguese fisherman who befriends
a spoiled young boy on a fishing boat. Manuel plays a very nice French style
hurdy-gurdy, but the sound is dubbed in by the orchestra. (Tracy sometimes
sets the instrument down with a heart-rending "thump".) A number
of people say that this film is what got them interested in the instrument,
including English builder Chris Eaton. Another notable player and maker who
got started with this film is Marcello Bono, who saw the Italian-language
version Capitani coraggiosi.
- 2000, directed by Lasse Hallström, with Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp,
Judi Dench, Lena Olin. This is a delightful film about a chocolatier who moves
to a small French village with her daughter. There is a scene towards the
end of the movie where a hurdy-gurdy is seen very briefly. Sadly, it's over
in the blink of an eye - it was only by advancing frame by frame that I saw
it at all.
- The Duellists
- 1977, directed by Ridley Scott, with Keith Carradine, Tom Conti, and Albert
Finney. There is a scene in an inn with two women playing lutebacked hurdy-gurdies.
- The Four Musketeers (The Revenge of Milady)
- 1975, directed by Richard Lester, with Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard
Chamberlin. There is a tavern scene with a hurdy-gurdy and bagpipe duo. [SW]
- Flesh and Blood
- 1985, directed by Paul Verhoeven. Also released as The Rose and the
Sword. With Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh. This is a somewhat
gruesome and explicit look at the late Middle Ages, following the exploits
of a band of mercenaries. There is a brief view of a hurdy-gurdy in a street
scene, and you don't get to hear it because of the surrounding commotion.
Later in the film you see one of the mercenaries appearing to be playing it,
with a well-recorded soundtrack dubbed in. There's even some nice dog technique,
which may not have been in period for the film. Thanks to Katie Roe [KR] for
- Heart of Glass
- 1976, directed by Werner Herzog, in German with English subtitles. This
very odd movie is about the trials of a small village with a glassworks where
a particular type of glass is made, to which the secret recipe has been lost.
There is a scene in the tavern where a man plays a poorly tuned hurdy-gurdy.
- Jeu de Daniel
- This is a wonderful television broadcast of a medieval mystery play. It
was believed to have been performed by the Clemencic Consort, with hurdy gurdy
player Bernard Blanc. The program was televised in Europe in 1978 or 1979.
- Les Maitres Sonneurs
- Features hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes. [SW] This is the name of a novel by
George Sand, who was a patron of the vielle. I don't know whether the movie
bears any resemblance to the book.
- Directed by Claude Lelouche, with Patrick DeWaere as Moliere. Somewhere
in the film there is quite a long scene with hurdy-gurdy player Rene Zosso
- Name of the Rose
- 1986, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Nigel Eaton plays on the soundtrack,
though the hurdy-gurdy is never more than a drone sound as far as we can determine.
The movie and soundtrack are quite eerie, depicting the quest of a Franciscan
monk (Sean Connery) and his novice (Christian Slater) to discover the dark
secrets of a Benedictine abbey.
- Petite Paudete
- Features hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes. [SW]
- The Rose and the Sword
- See Flesh and Blood.
- The Song Remains the Same
- 1976, directed by Peter Clifton and Joe Massot. This is a concert film
of Led Zeppelin playing at Madison Square Garden, interspersed with some artsy
concept footage by each of the band members and their manager. There's a very
short sequence of Jimmy Page sitting by a pond surrounded by various instruments.
He's playing a hurdy-gurdy, but it's resting on the ground, and it sounds
as if he didn't tune it completely.
- 1994. This is footage from the live MTV performance and MTV videos by ex-Led
Zeppelin musicians Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Their band includes British
hurdy-gurdy player Nigel Eaton, who plays on three songs on the video. The
hurdy-gurdy isn't really featured in the video: when you can hear it, you
can't see it, and the few times you get a brief glimpse of it, you can't really
hear it. I have heard recordings from the subsequent concert tour where it's
much more prominant. The bootleg videos I've seen show Nigel playing his solo
during the concert, but aren't of a quality that lets the viewer really see
the instrument or his technique.
- The Visitors
- 1993, released in France as Les Visiteurs, directed by Jean-Marie
Poir. Set in 1122, where a knight (Jean Reno) and his squire (Christian Clavier)
are transported to the 20th century. Before they leave, there is a scene with
two people playing an organistrum. [TS] This film is classic French farce.
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Alden and Cali Hackmann
Olympic Musical Instruments
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