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 ...
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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 Elisabeth of Austria, abandonned by her, tormented by his homosexuality, he will little by little slip towards madness. Written by
Ludwig. He loved women. He loved men. He lived as controversially as he ruled. But he did not care what the world thought. He was the world. From Luchino Visconti, the director of "The Damned" and "Death in Venice". Once again your eyes will be opened.
After playing Elisabeth of Austria in the Sissi trilogy in the fifties, Romy Schneider made clear she didn't want to have anything to do with the Austrian empress anymore, claiming the character ruined her career as an actress because everyone subsequently wanted to see her in romantic roles. She only agreed to appear in Ludwig (1973) as a favor to Luchino Visconti who was a very good friend of hers. See more »
Luchino Visconti's masterpiece - beautifully restored to the full 4 hours+ length on dvd in Germany - is breathtaking due to the Maestro's imprints alone. We see lush castle's, gold glitter, men in black or silver talking morals, and persons fighting their destiny ... and loose. Ludwig has something extra though: never seen the 110% Englishman Trevor Howard better as the very German Richard Wagner. And words will never be enough for yet another brilliant role of Romy Schneider, portraying Elisabeth rather than her renowned Sissy here.
The sheer brilliance of Visconti comes to light with the performance of Helmut Berger. Quite known as an actor in both Italy and the German speaking territories, he really goes above and beyond in his role as King Ludwig, the boy destined to drown in himself as a man.
Please do not miss this superb film, even though the bilingual (Italian-German) DVD of Kinowelt/Arthaus silly enough doesn't give any English subtitles.
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