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I met Franz at a musical party. I remember he played a ballade in A-flat major by Chopin. I thought I'd never seen anything as beautiful as Franz looked when he sat at the piano. I... I wanted to cry. He watched me as he played; Franz never fails to notice a pretty woman in his audience. Afterward, he followed me into the hall. I remember he said, "May I escort you somewhere, madame?" And I said, "Yes." And he said, "Where?" And I said, "Paradise." He didn't smile - he said, "I'll call a ...
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Franz Liszt back in the day was maybe the first popular musical icon. Since we have no phonograph records of what he sounded like on the piano we only have his music to judge him by today. Good thing he wrote a lot of it.
A Liszt concert back then if played for a mass audience was something like the reception that Elvis and The Beatles got back in their day. It aroused the jealousy of a lot of Liszt's contemporaries, but they respected his talent.
Dirk Bogarde is a capable and charismatic Liszt who had a weakness for married women. He ran off with one and had a couple of kids by her and then seduces a royal countess. The two women in question are played by Genevieve Page and Capucine.
Dirk and Cappy have a whole lot of hurdles to overcome before they can be happy, put there by the Romanov family and the Catholic Church, but it does sort of work itself out in the end.
My favorite performance in the film is that of Martita Hunt who plays a dowager German princess who offers Liszt employment when he needs it.
The film only covers a small portion of Franz Liszt's life, still it's a worthwhile biographical study.
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