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

GP  |   |  Drama  |  5 March 1971 (Italy)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 12,577 users  
Reviews: 108 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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Title: Death in Venice (1971)

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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

Tom Courtenay said at the premiere that he felt Alec Guinness should have played Aschenbach, because then the audience would have believed that he was the great composer - "with Dirk, you never felt he was." See more »

Goofs

(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 »

Quotes

Gustav von Aschenbach: You know sometimes I think that artists are rather like hunters aiming in the dark. They don't know what their target is, and they don't know if they've hit it. But you can't expect life to illuminate the target and steady your aim. The creation of beauty and purity is a spiritual act.
Alfred: Non Gustav, no. Beauty belongs to the senses. Only to the senses.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in God's Comedy (1995) 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

More and more beautiful as the years pass by
29 October 2004 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

"Slow", "slow", "slow"... I read many people complain "it's slow"... slow what? This movie takes its time. All the most beautiful things in life take time. When you make sex with your girlfriend would you try to make it last five minutes? No you would like to make it last the whole night. When you eat good food in a good restaurant would you like to finish it in two minutes? No, you sit down, enjoy the place, the food, the company and the wine. When you visit an art museum, would you rush through the rooms? No, you would move slowly, pay attention, and stop at the artworks that mean more to you. So why should a movie be different?

If you want speed, then eat at McDonald's, rush in the tube, watch TV commercials, and pay a prostitute for a 5 minute work.

If you are looking for real emotions, deep feelings and thoughts that will last in your memory and heart for a long time, then you don't want to miss this movie.

One caveat: don't go watching it for the gay theme. This movie isn't about gay love, if you look at it through this point of view, it will let you down completely. This movie is symbolism from beginning to end, it does not speak of what you see. It speaks of the struggle of the artist to reach the beauty, so close, always unreachable, and, like another reader perfectly commented, so inevitably connected with death, because the only perfection that a living being can ever attain, is in the death. If you look at the movie from this point of view, it will show to you for what it is: a complete masterpiece, from beginning to end.


133 of 174 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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