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Mahler (1974)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  February 1975 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,452 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 20 critic

Both trifles and structure are tossed out the door by director Ken Russell in this film. Here, historical content matters not so much as metaphors, feelings, emotions, and interpretations, ... See full summary »

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Title: Mahler (1974)

Mahler (1974) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Georgina Hale ...
Lee Montague ...
Miriam Karlin ...
Aunt Rosa
Rosalie Crutchley ...
Gary Rich ...
Young Mahler
Richard Morant ...
Max
Angela Down ...
...
...
Nick
Peter Eyre ...
Otto Mahler
Dana Gillespie ...
George Coulouris ...
Doctor Roth
David Collings ...
Arnold Yarrow ...
Grandfather
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Storyline

Both trifles and structure are tossed out the door by director Ken Russell in this film. Here, historical content matters not so much as metaphors, feelings, emotions, and interpretations, and pay close attention, as every word and frame is intended to be important. The film takes place on a single train ride, in which the sickly composer Gustav Mahler and his wife, Alma, confront the reasons behind their faltered marriage and dying love. Each word seems to evoke memories of past, and so the audience witnesses events of Mahler's life that explain somewhat his present state. Included are his turbulent and dysfunctional family life as a child, his discovery of solace in the "natural" world, his brother's suicide, his [unwanted] conversion from Judiasm to Catholicism, his rocky marriage and the death of their young child. The movie weaves in and out of dreams, flashbacks, thoughts and reality as Russell poetically describes the man behind the music. Written by Jonathan Dakss <dakss@columbia.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brinnande extas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cameo: [Oliver Reed] a train conductor blowing a whistle as Mahler's train is about to pull out of the station. See more »

Goofs

When Mahler's train leaves St. Pölten, a sign is visible identifying the town as "Saint Pölten". Yet, the German long script for the town is "Sankt Pölten". See more »

Quotes

Max: [laughs] I can't remember - what religion are you?
Gustav Mahler: I... am a composer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lisztomania (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Sunset
Arranged by Michael Moores
See more »

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User Reviews

Cosima Wagner as a Nazi dominatrix? Ken! Really!
8 March 2004 | by (cherry hill, nj) – See all my reviews

Ken Russell made several films for the BBC on artists and musicians like Fredrick Delius, the composer, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the painter and poet, and one of the founders of the Pre Raphaelite movement. The Rossetti film features the late Oliver Reed in an engrossing performance. This Mahler film is quite good. I feared watching it because I thought Ken Russell would make a circus of Mahler's tempestuous life, but it's a fairly controlled foray, except for the aforementioned sequence with Wagner's widow, BUT she was well acquainted with Hitler, and she never met a Nazi she didn't like, so the scene with her was founded on fact.

Robert Powell, and the lovely Georgina Hale, give beautiful performances. I looked in their credits and see THEY ARE BARELY WORKING TODAY. Maybe their own choice or a preference of stage work. I can't believe they would pass up today's movie money. They have not appeared as far as I can see in any major movie project for years. I don't get it. Russell, if he worked with the editor fitting the music to the film, shows a real feeling for the music. Even today Mahler's music is a specially acquired taste, and if much of it sounds bizzaire today, think what it sounded like to listners in 1906. A special kudo must go to David Collings as the insane composer Hugo Wolf. An acting gem. Also no current acting credits. David where are you? We need guys like you, Robert Powell, and Georgina Hale.


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