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Ludwig - Requiem for a Virgin King (1972)
"Ludwig - Requiem für einen jungfräulichen König" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 178 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

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Title: Ludwig - Requiem for a Virgin King (1972)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Harry Baer ...
Ingrid Caven ...
Lola Montez / Cosima Wagner / Erste Norne
Balthasar Thomass ...
Oskar von Schab ...
Edgar Murray ...
Kainz / Winnetou
Peter Kern ...
Lakai Mayr / Hoffriseur Hoppe / Röhm
Gerhard Maerz ...
Anette Tirier ...
Ursula Strätz ...
Die Bulyowski / Singer / Dritte Norne
Hanna Köhler ...
Sissi / Elizabeth / Zweite Norne
Johannes Buzalski ...
Emmanuel Geibel / Hitler
Peter Przygodda ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stefan Abendroth ...
Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm
Monica Bleibtreu
...
Professor von Gudden
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23 June 1972 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Ludwig - Requiem for a Virgin King  »

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(Eastmancolor)

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1.37 : 1
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Followed by Karl May (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Visual Metaphor -- A Good Thing?
1 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is an allegorical presentation of the story of Ludwig II. That is, this film depicts the *myth* of Ludwig II. But don't expect the myth to amount to much in terms of a plot. Ludwig's life is told in a series of episodic tableaux, or loosely related visual metaphors (a technique which happens to be one of Syberberg's specialties). This is a good thing, contrary to what you might expect. The clever poetic quality of the film is what constitutes its enjoyment value. At times, however, the symbols are far too ambiguous or esoteric to actually represent anything. The pacing is also unbearably slow at points.

Although Syberberg is usually considered a member of the "Neues Deutsches Kino" movement, his style really has little in common with his contemporaries. You will not find the ungainly, haphazard, gratuitous incoherence typical of Wenders and Herzog. Nor will you find the dark cynicism of those two directors. I would argue that most of this film is genuinely funny, in a subtle and lighthearted way.

You should be aware that Syberberg is prone to the unfortunate Franco-German tendency of characterizing ideas as products of a particular race, and that he spends much time in the film attacking the "Anglo" idea of industrialism. That being said, he also takes swipes at Nazi figures (largely by associating them with the "Anglos"). The politics are at least strange enough to seem pleasingly exotic.


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