MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 25,957 this week

Savage Messiah (1972)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  September 1972 (UK)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 724 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 8 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 209 titles
created 06 Apr 2012
 
list image
a list of 22 titles
created 20 Jun 2012
 
a list of 125 titles
created 11 Dec 2012
 
list image
a list of 23 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 5 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Savage Messiah" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Savage Messiah (1972)

Savage Messiah (1972) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Savage Messiah.
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Rock star Roddy Usher's wife is murdered and Rod is sent to a lunatic asylum in this gothic-comedy-horror-musical.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: James Johnston, Lisi Tribble, Marie Findley
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An elderly artist thinks he has become too stale and is past his prime. His friend (and agent) persuades him to go to an offshore island to try once more. On the island he re-discovers his ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Powell
Stars: James Mason, Helen Mirren, Jack MacGowran
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A former British spy stumbles into in a plot to overthrow Communism with the help of a supercomputer. But who is working for whom?

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Michael Caine, Karl Malden, Ed Begley
Caesar and Claretta (TV Movie 1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Claude Whatham
Stars: Helen Mirren, Robert Hardy, Robin Scobey
The Devils (1971)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed, Dudley Sutton
Whore (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

This choppy melodrama investigates the life of a prostitute in a pseudo-documentary style. The bottom line of the film is that a life of a hooker isn't easy...

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Theresa Russell, Benjamin Mouton, Antonio Fargas
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Scottish archaeologist Angus Flint discovers an odd skull amid the ruins of a convent that he is excavating. Shortly thereafter, Lady Sylvia Marsh returns to Temple House, a nearby mansion,... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Amanda Donohoe, Hugh Grant, Catherine Oxenberg
Gothic (1986)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Story of the night that Mary Shelley gave birth to the horror classic "Frankenstein." Disturbed drug induced games are played and ghost stories are told one rainy night at the mad Lord ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The thirty year-old hard-worker Bobby Grady is married with two children with the frigid Amy Grady and their marriage is in crisis. Bobby is invited to work in the night shift for the owner... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Anthony Perkins, Bruce Davison
Faust (TV Movie 1985)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  
Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Francisco Araiza, Ruggero Raimondi, Gabriela Benacková
The Planets (TV Movie 1983)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Based on the famous Gustav Holst musical suite, this musical film takes watchers on a magnificent journey of the planets of the Solar System.

Director: Ken Russell
The Quiz Kid (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A hopeless quiz team is revived by the addition of a bright young lecturer but all is not well when the barmaid takes a shine to him and this upsets her boyfriend.

Director: Bill Hays
Stars: Helen Mirren, John Woodvine, Michael Elphick
Edit

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
Edit

Storyline

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

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All art is sex!

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The mock "Polish folk song" that Sophie (Dorothy Tutin) sings at the posh dinner party was "composed" (improvised) by the actress herself. See more »

Quotes

Henri Gaudier: Ah, you'll like my mother. She's wonderful.
Sophie Brzeska: I thought your mother lived in the country.
Henri Gaudier: Oh, that's my natural mother. My real mother is...
[produces photograph]
Sophie Brzeska: The Louvre! Aww, rubbish. 'Pretentious townhouse full of junk stolen from savages.'
Henri Gaudier: Art is made from art.
Sophie Brzeska: That's not what you said yesterday...
Henri Gaudier: That was yesterday!
Sophie Brzeska: Look! You said, and don't you dare tell me I'm wrong, that today's art cannot be made from anything except today!
Henri Gaudier: And where do you think today comes from, huh? Yesterday. Or ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in A British Picture (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Roses from the South
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Underrated and surprisingly understated biographical drama from the always iconoclastic Russell
29 October 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Art, expression, age, repression, sex, revolution and death... just some of the themes central to Ken Russell's typically exuberant biographical film, Savage Messiah (1972). At its most basic, the film looks at the troubled and often confusing relationship between French sculptor Henri Gaudier and struggling writer Sophie Brzeska. However, director Russell - ever the iconoclast - uses the film's internal subject matter as a platform to attack the idea of artistic criticism. With this in mind, the film goes beyond the more identifiable elements of biographical fiction to become something of a satire, as Russell eventually branches out and takes further swipes at film producers, financiers and the viewing public, who - in Russell's view - have destroyed the notion of 'art', both in its own right, and in the purely cinematic sense of personal expression.

As the film unfolds it becomes clear that Russell is using Gaudier as something of an alter-ego; a stroke of characterisation that I'm sure is pure egocentric fabrication, as we see Gaudier become a laughing, wailing, scamp; obsessed with phallic symbolism and the female form and completely opposed to authority (sound familiar?). In Brzeska, his desire to find someone like-minded is fulfilled, whilst his appetite for lust and high-society remains just out of reach. The film is clever enough to subvert the usual love affair clichés, by depicting the couple's relationship through various alternative incarnations; mother and son, sister and brother, friend and foe, etc. As the film moves closer and closer to its final act, Russell offers us a touching and subtle depiction of loss, loyalty and friendship that ties all of these previous themes together exceedingly well.

Here the usually bombastic director elicits a number of wonderful performances from his cast, allowing them to feel their way through the portrayal of these complex and not always likable characters, as opposed to simply acting it out. Amongst the stars, Scott Anthony impresses as the wildly enthusiastic genius Gaudier, whilst dance choreographer Lindsey Kemp plays the pitiful, snivelling promoter Angus Corky. However, it is Dorothy Tutin as the tortured Brzeska who really stands out; delivering a beautiful performance that registers long after the film has finished. Russell's creative restraint is also evident in the way the film is put together. Set design is again by Derek Jarman, who creative the city of Loudon in Russell's earlier masterpiece The Devils (1971). Whereas that film relied heavily on theatricality, pop art expressionism and stylisation, Savage Messiah instead creates a more low-key reality that is no less iconic or impressive.

The realisation of the film is in the cobbled streets, the dingy basements, the gutters overflowing with rancid, rotting fruit and vegetables, the constant pouring rain, the art and the artist, and the juxtaposition of the polite, stately bourgeoisie with the common artiste they so adore! Even the cinematography and lighting manages to forgo the usually vibrant, cartoon-like buffoonery of some of Russell's more outré endeavours, using natural light - including candles, bonfires and actual sunlight - and unobtrusive compositions reminding us of what a great talent Russell was before the likes of Tommy (1975) and Lisztomania (1975) took him beyond the boundaries of taste. The film has a number of amazing sequences, such as the first trip to the art gallery, Gaudier's all-night sculpting session, the trip to the rockery, the carnival-like nightclub and, of course, on a more superficial level, the young Helen Mirren posing nude.

Unfortunately, the current cinematic climate tells us that we should ignore the films of the past, and instead look forward to vapid remakes with that dry, MTV mentality. A sad fact, since despite a couple of minor flaws, Savage Messiah is a true original; one of Russell's many personal and groundbreaking explorations of artistic expression, and one of those films that demonstrates his true talent and stature of one of British cinema's true originals.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
dvd jibjabkellymac
Does anyone know what happened to Scott Anthony? mere87
Savage Messiah paulmillac
Worst musical score ever? jams_017
'Savage Messiah' screening DiVicenzo
Discuss Savage Messiah (1972) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?