Omnibus: Season 1, Episode 8

Dante's Inferno (22 Dec. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 258 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 4 critic

A movie about jealousy, and the complex and painful relationship between Rossetti and his sickly wife, Elizabeth. They are members of the upper-crust layer of society, bourgeois painters, ... See full summary »

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(commentary and dialogue), (scenario), 1 more credit »
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Title: Dante's Inferno (22 Dec 1967)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Judith Paris ...
Andrew Faulds ...
Iza Teller ...
Christina Rossetti
Christopher Logue ...
Swinburne
Gala Mitchell ...
Pat Ashton ...
Clive Goodwin ...
David Jones ...
Howell
Norman Dewhurst ...
Burne-Jones
Tony Gray ...
Dougie Gray ...
Derek Boshier ...
Caroline Coon ...
Janet Deuters ...
Emma Brown
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Storyline

A movie about jealousy, and the complex and painful relationship between Rossetti and his sickly wife, Elizabeth. They are members of the upper-crust layer of society, bourgeois painters, poets and philosophers. Rossetti struggles with his own emotions for his wife, as she refuses his sexual advances before they marry, and, once they do marry, she is unable to bear him any children. She believes he has impregnated another woman (a model), commits suicide, and, as he chooses to bury his best poems with her coffin, he is driven insane when confronted with the idea of exhuming her coffin and retrieving the book to sell to his fans. Written by Jonathan Dakss <dakss@columbia.edu>

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Release Date:

22 December 1967 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Ken Russell:  [snake]  Snake crawling on Dante's face after he crashes into the bird cages. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Eerily beautiful
24 January 2000 | by (Minnesota, USA) – See all my reviews

I saw this film once, at least 30 years ago, at a small University art house, but it has haunted me ever since. So strange and otherworldly, I have sometimes wondered if I may have only dreamed it, and that no such film ever existed. It is a pleasure (AND a relief!) to know it in fact exists, and was not an hallucinatory result of mid-60s/early 70s mind-expansion experimentations. (at least not my own...)

It certainly may have been the filmmakers' result of such experimentation, if my memory serves. I recall an exquisite vision of eerie beauty, a languid unfolding of a most unusual story, verging on the surreal.

The titular "Dante" is Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and the story takes us into the realm of the "Pre-Raphaelite" art movement of the late 1800's. We meet the extraordinary painters and poets who made up this community, all actual historical persons. One of the most astonishing things about this film is the absolutely UNCANNY resemblance of some of the actresses to the actual art models they portray. If you are familiar with some of the Pre-Raphaelite paintings, you will instantly recognize those faces.

This is a rare and beautiful jewel of a movie, and I fervently hope it will be released on video someday. I would snap it up in an instant. If you ever come across it at some little art house someday, go see it without hesitation. You will be haunted ever after, as well.


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