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.
I don't know whether to give it a "7" or an "8" so I gave it the benefit of the doubt and scored it "8". VERY nice film, though somewhat longish, about a very artistic, but also paranoid ruler of the 19th century. The period settings seemed, to me anyway, authentic. For example, it shows the interior glass lamps of the 1860s burning to produced light; then showing how by the late 1880s these lamps being the electric lamps that we today are familiar with. Ludwig II was an early advocate of the use of electricity; which was a new technology in his day and age. Other settings are definitely authentic to that day and age, and it is interesting to see how people did things in the 19th century. Having said that; it is unfortunate that medical technology was not then near as advanced as today. Ludwig could certainly have been treated successfully for his paranoia with some drugs that we have today; but were not available then.
Helmet Burger is simply speaking, Ludwig. He very closely physically resembles the historical figure, and I have no doubt that his behavior does also. One gets the nagging impression that Helmut Berger was the reincarnation of Ludwig!! Romy Schneider reprized her role as Empress Elizabeth of Austria; at first with some trepidation then with tremendous enthusiasm. By the time filming ended she certainly felt that her portrayal as a more mature Sissy was the ideal role for her. In fact, the only picture of herself in costume that she displayed in her apartment was of the role she played in this movie.
The major problem with this movie, and the reason why this film was never popular in the United States, is that you have to know quite a lot of European 19th century history to really appreciate it. Until the advent of DVDs; which gave one the opportunity to play and replay this movie at will, and of on-line encyclopedias that allowed one to do some quick historical research- most of the movie was probably unfathomable to most Americans. Today, with the tools that I mentioned this movie can be appreciated by the average viewer. Watch out for the language problem in this movie; it is certainly a little disconcerting at first as this movie has German actors, in roles set in Germany, speaking not German, but rather Italian!
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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