Down 608 this week

Death in Venice (1971)
"Morte a Venezia" (original title)

GP  |   |  Drama  |  5 March 1971 (Italy)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 12,913 users  
Reviews: 109 user | 53 critic

In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.00 on Amazon Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 20 Jul 2013
a list of 42 titles
created 13 Aug 2013
list image
a list of 33 titles
created 22 Apr 2014
a list of 24 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 49 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Death in Venice" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Death in Venice (1971)

Death in Venice (1971) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Death in Venice.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Damned (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The dramatic collapse of a wealthy, industrialist/Junker family during the reign of the Third Reich.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Ingrid Thulin, Helmut Griem
The Leopard (1963)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale
Crime | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Having recently been uprooted to Milan, Rocco and his four brothers each look for a new way in life when a prostitute comes between Rocco and his brother Simone.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Alain Delon, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot
Senso (1954)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A troubled and neurotic Italian Countess betrays her entire country for a self-destructive love affair with an Austrian Lieutenant.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Farley Granger, Alida Valli, Heinz Moog
Ludwig (1972)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Historical evocation of Ludwig, king of Bavaria, from his crowning in 1864 until his death in 1886, as a romantic hero. Fan of Richard Wagner, betrayed by him, in love with his cousin ... See full summary »

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Helmut Berger, Romy Schneider, Trevor Howard
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A reclusive, retired professor is faced with confronting modernity when a group of vulgar youths, led by an obnoxious marchesa, take up residence in his unused upper residence.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Helmut Berger, Silvana Mangano
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A humble clerk courts a woman who night after night awaits for the return of her lover.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Maria Schell, Marcello Mastroianni, Jean Marais
L'innocente (1976)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Tullio Hermil is a chauvinist aristocrat who flaunts his mistress to his wife, but when he believes she has been unfaithful he becomes enamored of her again.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Giancarlo Giannini, Laura Antonelli, Jennifer O'Neill
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In rural Sicily, the fishermen live at the mercy of the greedy wholesalers. One family risks everything to buy their own boat and operate independently.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Luchino Visconti, Antonio Pietrangeli, Antonio Arcidiacono
Bellissima (1952)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A woman from the low class desperately tries to get her daughter into the movies.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Anna Magnani, Walter Chiari, Tina Apicella
Ossessione (1943)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Gino, a drifter, begins an affair with inn-owner Giovanna as they plan to get rid of her older husband.

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Clara Calamai, Massimo Girotti, Dhia Cristiani
The Stranger (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In an atmosphere of political tension when the French still control Algiers, an Algerian is killed on the beach and a French man who has lived in Algiers all his life is arrested for the ... See full summary »

Director: Luchino Visconti
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Karina, Bernard Blier


Cast overview, first billed only:
Romolo Valli ...
Mark Burns ...
Nora Ricci ...
Frau von Aschenbach
Esmeralda (as Carole Andre)
Björn Andrésen ...
Tadzio (as Björn Andresen)
Leslie French ...
Travel Agent
Franco Fabrizi ...
Antonio Appicella ...
Sergio Garfagnoli ...
Jaschu, Polish youth
Ciro Cristofoletti ...
Luigi Battaglia ...
Dominique Darel ...
English tourist


In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period of artistic and personal stress. But he finds no peace there, for he soon develops a troubling attraction to an adolescent boy, Tadzio, on vacation with his family. The boy embodies an ideal of beauty that Aschenbach has long sought and he becomes infatuated. However, the onset of a deadly pestilence threatens them both physically and represents the corruption that compromises and threatens all ideals. Written by Eric Wees <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The celebrated story of a man obsessed with ideal beauty.




GP | See all certifications »





| | |

Release Date:

5 March 1971 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Death in Venice  »

Box Office


SEK 630,202 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dirk Bogarde based his appearance on that of the distinguished composer/conductor Gustav Mahler, whose Fifth and Third Symphonies were adapted as background music for the film. See more »


(at around 1h 13 mins) Tadzio plays Beethoven's "Für Elise" in the hotel lounge but his fingers are in the very top range of the piano, some two or three octaves higher than the sound we actually hear. See more »


Alfred: Truth? Justice? Human dignity? What good are they?
See more »


Adagietto From Symphony No.5
Written by Gustav Mahler
Conducted by Franco Mannino
Performed by The Orchestra of the Academy of Saint Cecilia
Courtesy of Varèse Sarabande
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Beauty Found and Lost in Venice: Mann + Mahler +Visconti = a Masterpiece
11 December 2006 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

I first saw "Death in Venice" 1971) about 15 years ago, found it profoundly moving and often thought about it. Watching it again few days ago, I realized that it is close to the top of the great works of cinema. With hardly any dialog it captivates a viewer with the beautiful cinematography, the fine acting, and, above all, the Mahler's music without which the movie simply could not exist.

"Death in Venice" is a stunning Luchino Visconti's adaptation of the Thomas Mann novella about a famous composer (in the novella he was a writer but making him a composer in a movie was a great idea that works admirably) Gustav von Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) who travels to Venice in the summer of 1911 to recover from personal losses and professional failures. His search for beauty and perfection seems to be completed when he sees a boy of incredible divine beauty. Ashenbach (Dirk Bogard) follows the boy everywhere never trying to approach him. The boy, Tadzio, belonged to very rare creatures that own an enigmatic and inconceivable power which captivates you, enchants you, conquers you and makes you its prisoner. Ashenbach became one of the prisoners of Tadzio spellbinding charms. He became addicted to him; he fell in love with him. Was it bless or curse for him? I think both. He died from unreachable, impossible yet beautiful love which object was perfection itself. The last image Ashenbach's eyes captured was that of the boy's silhouette surrounded by the sea and golden sun light. Nothing could compare to the beauty and charm of the scene and to take it with you to the grave is the death one can only dream about. If he could, Ashenbach probably would've said, "I was able to witness one of the faces of perfection, I could not bear it but I was chosen to learn that it exists here, in this world and I can die in peace now because it did happen to me."

Unforgettable music, Gustav Mahler's haunting adagietto of his Fifth Symphony found perfect use in a perfect movie. It reflects every emotion of a main character - it sobs, it longs, it begs for hope, and it summarizes the idea that once you are blessed to encounter beauty you are condemned to die. I may come up with hundreds movies that use classical music to perfection but nothing will ever compare to "Death in Venice". I dare say that Mahler's music IS its main character - it would change and sound differently depending on what was happening on the screen. It sounded triumphantly when Ashenbach returned back to Venice, to what he thought would be his happiness but turned to be his death. It sounded gloomy when he first entered Venice from the sea. You can hear so many different feelings in it - tenderness and adoration, confusion and self-loathing, worship and melancholy, but always - LOVE that gives the purest happiness and breaks the hearts (literally). The movie for a viewer is similar to what the boy was for the aging composer/writer/Artist. We are enchanted and captivated by its power and beauty as much as Achenbach was by the boy's mysterious charm.

28 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
On the subject of paedophilia josella14-1
What Am I Missing? nx_2000
Painfully slow in Plot adreamtonight
Why isn't 'Looking for Tadzio' on the DVD? debblyst
Gustav Mahler baronklimavidov
The most stunning image in the history of cinema. filmfancritic
Discuss Death in Venice (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: