Based on the famous Gustav Holst musical suite, this musical film takes watchers on a magnificent journey of the planets of the Solar System.

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Based on the famous Gustav Holst musical suite, this musical film takes watchers on a magnificent journey of the planets of the Solar System. Written by Charles Halashuia

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space | solar system | See All (2) »

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Mars, Bringer of War
Written by Gustav Holst
Performed by Eugene Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra
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Ken Russell at his best
14 July 2002 | by (Isle of Man) – See all my reviews

This was shown in 1983 on the South Bank Show. It is a complete performance of The Planets by (as far as I remember) the Chicago Symphony. What makes it special is Ken Russell's film footage. This is a collage of real film clips from documentaries, adverts and newsreels from around the world and spanning a fairly wide period of time. I seem to remember reading in the Radio Times at the time this was broadcast, that he had been given permission to make this film by Holst's daughter, and the main constraint was that he was not to use footage showing the atrocities of war. It could be argued that his choice of film to accompany Mars is all the more sinister and poignant because of what is omitted. This is a very unusual, stunning film which appears to have been forgotten over the years. A re-showing would, I am sure, inspire interest in the availability of a DVD or video. It is disappointing that this film is not available, and it would be a real tragedy if it disappeared without trace. Somewhere there must be a copy of this film, and I would dearly love to get hold of a copy!


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