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

GP  -  Drama  -  5 March 1971 (Italy)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 11,846 users  
Reviews: 104 user | 51 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 »

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

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Cast

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

Storyline

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 <eric_wees@ccmail.chin.doc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The celebrated story of a man obsessed with ideal beauty.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

5 March 1971 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Death in Venice  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 630,202 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Thomas Mann novella Aschenbach is an author, not a composer. See more »

Goofs

As Aschenbach watches the departing Tadzio just after he twirls on the canopy posts, two young boys are walking hand in hand toward the camera. In the next shot, only one of the boys is seen walking in front of Aschenbach. See more »

Quotes

Alfred: In all the world, there is no impurity so impure as old age.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

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 »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful attention to period detail but doesn't cover logic of story well.
4 June 2013 | by (Peru) – See all my reviews

I remember the novella as being realistic intelligent and moving. This movie is very slow moving and doesn't capture the logic of the story well.

The flash backs are very poorly done. The pseudo intellectual dialogs about the nature of art etc... are irritating and trite. Thomas Mann was too intelligent to have had much of that nonsense--or it was taken completely naked out of context making the actors look like pseudo intellectual idiots--the over dramatic poor acting in these scenes doesn't help. Terrible and this includes basically all the flashbacks-- but especially those featuring his musical cohort in Germany--what terrible direction.

Knowing the story however I was able to enjoy the re-creation of 1910 Venice which was very well done and must have cost a fortune--just for the costumes.

Like another reviewer stated so well the actor who plays Tadzio (Bjorn Andresen) does not capture the character in the book...he just isn't handsome enough is basically the problem too thin too feminine. The book Tadzio is Adonis like and proud. Like wise the actor playing Von Aschenbach (Dirk Bogarde) tries his best but you don't get the convincing story the book gives you of his vortex like descent into various humiliations as he becomes infatuated with the 15 year old Tadzio. He dyes his hair puts on rouge make-up to look younger. Dirk Bogarde has the opposite problem he is too young and good looking to need these sorts of humiliating disasters.

The movie tries to convey that Tadzio represent the muse of art or some such nonsense (Aschenback was in love with the intellectual idea of beauty and art)... Thomas Mann was well schooled in Freud and the book clearly indicates the much more believable carnal nature of Aschenbach's desires.

READ THE BOOK AND BUY MAHLER'S 5th Symphony instead.

DO NOT RECOMMEND UNLESS YOU HAVE RECENTLY READ THE BOOK.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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