The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor of dubious sanity himself. The patient (Burton) offers the innocent orderly (... See full summary »
This is a delightful if peculiar story of a day in the life of a small, Welsh fishing village called "Llareggub" (read it backwards). We meet a host of curious characters (and ghosts) ... See full summary »
The venomous and amoral wife of a wealthy architect tries, any way she can, to break up the blossoming romance between her husband and his new mistress; a good-natured young widow who holds a dark past.
Brian G. Hutton
Faustus is a scholar at the University of Wittenberg when he earns his doctorate degree. His insatiable appetite for knowledge and power leads him to employ necromancy to conjure Mephistopheles out of hell. He bargains away his soul to Lucifer in exchange for living 24 years during which Mephistopheles will be his slave. Faustus signs the pact in his own blood and Mephistopheles reveals the works of the devil to Faustus. Written by
When Faustus anoints his head with blood there is one mark on his forehead, but when he is conjuring Mephistophilis, there are two blood marks. See more »
[Mephistopheles has come to Faustus' study]
Where are you damned?
How comes it, then, that thou art out of hell?
Why, this is hell, nor am I out of it. / Think'st thou that I, who saw the face of God / And tasted the eternal joys of heaven, / Am not tormented with ten thousand hells / In being deprived of everlasting bliss?
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It was an ambitious undertaking for Richard Burton, to film Christopher Marlowe's classic Dr. Faustus with an untried amateur cast. I'd say he got a mixed bag of results.
Well, they weren't all that amateur, they were the members of the Oxford Dramatic Society and quite a number of them went on to have substantial careers in film and theater. Fans of the Doctor Who series will recognize Ian Marter who played Harry Sullivan during the Tom Baker reign as the Doctor, he's probably the most well known of the cast.
Of course there's Elizabeth Taylor who plays the brief part of Helen of Troy who in legend is ultimate in feminine beauty. She has no dialog, but she makes her presence known.
Faustus, a man who devotes his entire life to the pursuit of knowledge and somehow feels he's left a lot out of his life. Piety and service to God ain't cutting it any more. He makes a deal with Lucifer himself and even gets one of the fallen angels, Mephistopheles to act as a personal servant and conveyor of Faustus's wishes to the Prince of Darkness.
Of course he gets what he wants, but there's a day of reckoning and Faustus just simply doesn't want to cough up the soul. What do you expect from a guy who constantly refers to himself in the third person? Faustus is rather full of himself.
From what little research I did, Richard Burton made a concerted effort in this film to perform it close to Marlowe's own vision. There seems to be a few versions of this out there and it's all open to speculation.
It was an ambitious undertaking, not entirely successful, but not a total failure either. And Elizabeth Taylor looks pretty good in it.
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