A huge panorama of Wagner's life and work, from before the 1848 Revolution, through his exile in Switzerland, his rescue by the besotted King Ludwig II of Bavaria to the final triumph at ... See full summary »
A huge panorama of Wagner's life and work, from before the 1848 Revolution, through his exile in Switzerland, his rescue by the besotted King Ludwig II of Bavaria to the final triumph at Bayreuth. Wagner's radical musical and political ideas, his German nationalism and even his anti-Semitism are set in the context of his life and times. Written by
Adrian Thorpe <email@example.com>
This production represents the only time that the three great British theatrical knights, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson all appeared together on screen. As their characters appear to be fictional, and all have names which begin with "Pf", this does not appear to be fortuitous casting, but a deliberate whim of the director. The three knights were all in the casts of Richard III and Oh! What a Lovely War, but they were never together on screen at the same time in those films. See more »
When Wagner speaks at the political meeting, the vertical German flags in the background have the wrong sequence of black-gold-red, while the ones draping the podium are the correct black-red-gold ones. (The flags are the 1832 Hambach Festival flag - the modern German flag dating from 1848 was developed from the Hambach colours) See more »
The problem with this epic film is in the decision to use an abstract patchwork quilt approach to the subject matter. A more straight forward narrative would have worked much better.
Right from the start there's confusion, entering the biography when the main subject is already a mature 35 years of age. Then the usual jumps in time and situation follow.
The screen is not filled with clear narrative, only erratic glimpses of a life that cries out for clarity of design and structure. In the lead, Richard Burton does the best he can, given the script and direction. The photography looks rather ordinary as do the sets. Only the work of Georg Solti on the soundtrack lends dramatic brilliance.
Irregardless of the considerable length and scope of this TV work, one looks forward to another film effort on this fascinating subject.
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