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Savage Messiah (1972)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  September 1972 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 733 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 8 critic

Biographical film of the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

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(screenplay), (book)
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Title: Savage Messiah (1972)

Savage Messiah (1972) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dorothy Tutin ...
Sophie Brzeska
Scott Antony ...
Henri Gaudier
...
Gosh Boyle
Lindsay Kemp ...
Angus Corky
...
M. Gaudier
John Justin ...
Lionel Shaw
Aubrey Richards ...
Mayor
...
Museum Attendant
Ben Aris ...
Thomas Buff
Eleanor Fazan ...
Mdme. Gaudier
Otto Diamant ...
Mr. Saltzman
Imogen Claire ...
Mavis Coldstream
Maggy Maxwell ...
Tart
Susanna East ...
Pippa
Judith Paris ...
Kate
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Storyline

Biographical film of the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All art is sex!

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1972 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Barbár messiás  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early in the film, Henri Gaudier is seen in the employ of a certain Mr. Saltzman, who hires him, not to create original works as he would like, but to make copies of other people's work. This may be a private joke on director Ken Russell's part, as the producer Harry Saltzman had, some years earlier, hired him, ostensibly with a view to producing one of his personal projects (a film about Tchaikowsky), but in actual fact to make the third film in the "Harry Palmer" series, "Billion Dollar Brain". Russell eventually made the Tchaikowsky film ("The Music Lovers") without Saltzman. See more »

Quotes

Sophie Brzeska: My book is about sleep; that thick oily substance. Under the surface you float; half dreaming, half waking. Hidden, you hope, yet the world comes though. You cannot imagine the ways I've evolved to abolish myself there... under the surface. Half sleeping. Half waking. Leaving your worries and your clothes asleep. But the rent never sleeps and time never sleeps.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Celebrity Naked Ambition (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Soldiers of the Queen
(uncredited)
Written by Leslie Stuart
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A wild Ken Russell biopic.
23 January 2003 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Savage Messiah is perhaps the least famous of Ken Russell's biopics from the early-to-mid 70s. He made films about Tchaikovsky (The Music Lovers), Lizst (Lizstomania), and Mahler (Mahler) during this period, and in this offering his subject is the French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Gaudier-Brzeska, though not a household name, is certainly an interesting character and this film is a worthwhile experience for anyone who wants to find out more about him, or anyone who has an interest in his career.

It is, however, typically erratic and in-your-face, as most of Russell's pictures are. There's sex and nudity, lots of bitter and angry dialogue, and heaps of soul searching. In real life, Gaudier-Brzeska married a Polish noblewoman twenty years his senior and was tragically killed during WW1. Russell revels in exploring the complexity of their relationship, but he makes little of Gaudier-Brzeska's wartime experiences (which in actual fact might have been well worth showing in more detail).

I like this film because it is fast-paced, unconventional and witty. Having said that, I wouldn't put it in my list of all time favourites because it lacks warmth and narrative clarity. It's not as intense as Russell's The Devils, but it stands alongside that film of one of his better motion pictures.


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