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Lisztomania (1975)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,233 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 19 critic

A send-up of the bawdy life of Romantic composer/piano virtuoso Franz Liszt, with ubiquitous phallic imagery and a good portion of the film devoted to Liszt's "friendship" with fellow ... See full summary »



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Title: Lisztomania (1975)

Lisztomania (1975) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sara Kestelman ...
Princess Carolyn
Rick Wakeman ...
John Justin ...
Count d'Agoult
Fiona Lewis ...
Andrew Reilly ...
David English ...
Imogen Claire ...
Rikki Howard ...
David Corti ...
Anulka Dziubinska ...


A send-up of the bawdy life of Romantic composer/piano virtuoso Franz Liszt, with ubiquitous phallic imagery and a good portion of the film devoted to Liszt's "friendship" with fellow composer Richard Wagner. The film begins during the time when Franz would give piano performance to a crowd of shrieking teenage fans while maintaining affairs with his (multiple!) mistresses. He eventually seeks Princess Carolyne of St. Petersburg (at her invitation), elopes, and, after their marriage is forbidden by the Pope, he embraces the monastic life as an abbé. Written by Jonathan Dakss <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The erotic, exotic electrifying rock fantasy... It out-Tommy's TOMMY.


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 January 1976 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Lisztomania  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(3 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First film to be encoded with a Dolby Stereo optical soundtrack. See more »


Marie d'Agoult: Spare him, Francois! Don't cut off his... genius in it's prime!
Count d'Agoult: Oh, is that what you call it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Music by Rick Wakeman Assisted by Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner See more »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »


Love's dream
Composed by Franz Liszt
Lyrics by Roger Daltrey
Performed by Roger Daltrey
See more »

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User Reviews

Gives the word grotesque a whole new meaning.
2 May 2001 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

I'm a great fan of Ken Russell's films. What I like most about them is the director's ability (and willingness) to totally immerse his productions into whatever mania happens to be the driving force behind its subject. The results are often excellent, occasionally poor. But never have I seen a film that was, at once, so incredibly visionary and God-awful as Lisztomania.

In most Russell films, fantasy takes on an important role in the dramatic narrative. In Lisztomania, the narrative is virtually jettisoned in favor of fantasy, and not to altogether admirable effect.

Still, any motion picture that can give us Richard Wagner portrayed as a Transylvanian vampire who gains musical inspiration by sucking the blood of Franz Liszt deserves points for imaginative hubris.

Ultimately, Lisztomania is less a film than a comic boot pastiche. Its humor is, by turns, dazzling and lead-footed. Compared to THE MUSIC LOVERS (another Russell bio-pic, this time about Tchaikovsky), Lisztomania is, for all it gleeful, lip-smacking gusto, a rather tired affair, largely because it's metaphors are so pedantic and literal-minded.

I should point out, however, that Wagner's third-act transformation (or should I say resurrection) into a machine gun-toting, Frankenstein-Hitler rock star (yes, you read correctly) is a genuinely

7 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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