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 »
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 <email@example.com>
This film is brilliant! Casting Roger Daltry (a rock star of his day) as Franz Liszt (a rock star of HIS day) was a master stroke (though Russell seemed to always like working with the same people again and again and he had done Tommy with Daltry). Ringo star in a cameo as the Pope was a crack-up and Wagner as a vampire stealing themes from Liszt was a trip as well. There is a wonderful "silent movie" section with Daltry doing a Chaplinesque sequence which covers several years in Switzerland and incredible sequences of him as a performer dazzling teeny-bopper girls in crinolines and bonnets--all screaming and swooning to whatever he plays. The piece-de-resistance is the sequence at the end with Liszt in a rocket ship "powered" by several former loves swooping down to destroy a Naziesque Wagnerian Frankenstein Monster who is laying waste to the world with an electric guitar/tommy-gun. This film is so over-the-top I had to have a copy for my collection!
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