IMDb > Mahler (1974)
Mahler
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Mahler (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   1,680 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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View company contact information for Mahler on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1975 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Composer Gustav Mahler's life, told in a series of flashbacks as he and his wife discuss their failing marriage during a train journey. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Russell's Best Film See more (30 total) »


Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
115 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Belgium:KT | Finland:K-16 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:PG

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:
Factual errors: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
SunsetSee more »

16 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
Russell's Best Film, 3 February 2005
Author: FloatingOpera7 from United States

I disagree with viewers who have claimed that this movie is over-the-top and excessive, as some other Ken Russell movies. It is true that the British director cultivated shock, gore and excessive cinematography that often resembled heavy LSD hallucinations or a Bosch paintings. But he felt he was only ahead of his time in the late 60's and throughout the 70's. Prime examples of this are his Tommy, Lisztomania and The Devils. But "Mahler" is actually his most tame and restrained. I found the film genuinely moving and haunting. It's slow-paced, quite talky and very very musical in nature. Robert Powell stars as the anguished composer Gustav Mahler, Georgina Hale as his wife Alma and Antonia Ellis as the dark and seductive Cosima Wagner. The film is partially historic partially psychological and partially dream-like. It is true that Mahler, who was born Jewish, converted to Catholicism simply for the sake of landing a prestigious job as conductor of the Vienna State Opera. His relationship with Cosima Wagner, Richard Wagner's widowed wife, did in fact have something detrimental about it. In the film, it's hinted they are lovers and that Cosima has managed to isolate him from his wife and children. With the music of Mahler and Wagner in the soundtrack, and fine performances by the lead stars, this is indeed Ken Russell's most psychological works of drama. Essentially, it's about the downfall of a man who has compromised his ethics and sacrificed his religion for the sake of money and fame.

Robert Powell, Antonia Ellis and Georgina Hale carry most of the movie. Alma, who was largely considered a big name in feminist history and a brilliant woman in her own right, felt eclipsed by the genius of Mahler. Their marriage was never happy and ended in divorce. Cosima Wagner was notoriously Anti-Semitic, in fact, it is said she was far more so than her husband Richard Wagner. Antonia Ellis does do a very over-the-top performance, at one point in a dream sequence even dressing up as a Nazi dominatrix in the quite hilarious silent film parody in which Mahler is converted into Catholicism. There is even a funny song to the strains of Wagner's Ride of The Valkyries. This and the Death Fantasy in which Mahler imagines he is being buried alive and Alma is dancing over his grave and carrying out numerous affairs are the only Russell elements that fall into excess. But most of the film is quite haunting and lovely to look at. Highly recommended as a Russell film to watch without judgment of his other works.

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DVD playback speed wrong - is this a PAL 4% speedup issue? pread99999
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