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Death in Venice (1971)

Morte a Venezia (original title)
GP | | Drama | 5 March 1971 (Italy)
3:49 | Trailer

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While recovering in Venice, a sickly composer becomes dangerously fixated with a teenage boy.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hotel Manager
Mark Burns ...
Nora Ricci ...
Tadzio's Governess
Frau von Aschenbach
Esmeralda - Brothel Prostitute
Björn Andrésen ...
Tadzio (as Björn Andresen)
Tadzio's Mother
Leslie French ...
Antonio Appicella ...
Sergio Garfagnoli ...
Ciro Cristofoletti ...
Hotel Clerk
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 <eric_wees@ccmail.chin.doc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The celebrated story of a man obsessed with ideal beauty.




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Release Date:

5 March 1971 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Death in Venice  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Björn Andrésen is dubbed, since the Swedish actor was playing a Polish character. 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 »


Gustav von Aschenbach: You must never smile like that. You must never smile like that at anyone.
See more »


Referenced in Murder Most Horrid: Going Solo (1999) See more »


Neue Lieder (Wer Bei Den Frauen Glück Haben Will)
Written by Armando Gill
See more »

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User Reviews

A monument
27 October 2002 | by See all my reviews

Death in Venice is a movie I need to see once every ten years. It is always different, because I am always at a different stage of life.

The movie is about art, beauty, longing, death. Some scenes are painfully slow, others simply annoying to watch, especially if you have seem them before. Yet I would not want to miss a single frame. The music is repetitive, the main theme of the adagietto from Mahler's fifth is used again and again. Yet I would not want to miss a single note. When the last image fades, the last note dies, I am left numb and exhausted.

This movie is a monument to film making. As with most really good movies, the saturday evening crowd should stay away from it. And this is simply the best movie ever.

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