A partly dramatised account of the life of Sir Edward Elgar classical composer. Huw Wheldon narrates the life story over backdrops of beautiful mountain scenery, especially memorable is the... See full summary »

Director:

Ken Russell

Writers:

Ken Russell, Huw Wheldon (commentary written by)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Huw Wheldon Huw Wheldon ... Self - Commentator (voice)
Peter Brett Peter Brett ... Mr. Elgar
Rowena Gregory Rowena Gregory ... Mrs. Elgar
George McGrath George McGrath ... Sir Edward Elgar
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Storyline

A partly dramatised account of the life of Sir Edward Elgar classical composer. Huw Wheldon narrates the life story over backdrops of beautiful mountain scenery, especially memorable is the image of young Elgar riding his horse around Malvern Hills. Written by Archie Moore <ar.moore@student.qut.edu.au>

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classical music | See All (1) »

Genres:

Documentary

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Featured in Film Review: Ken Russell (1968) See more »

User Reviews

Was Lush, Now Rotten
15 July 2008 | by tedgSee all my reviews

Taste is a very strange thing, among the strangest. It fascinates, especially when I encounter something that repels me that many people like. Smart people or apparently so. And the encounter is through film.

This is such a thing. It features the music of Elgar. His music is vapidly florid, like cheap, loud perfume. Like tooled leather on a carriage just there to fill the space with decoration. But was a credible entrant in a national competition when all symphonic music was such, and so became a British champion, not unlike a soccer player. These national feelings color the love of the music, establishing it as normal. Its why Constable is venerated. Its not that he was great or even notable artist, but dammit he painted England!

Along comes Ken Russell, a young filmmaker. From his later work, we know he is a man of overblown excess, of cheap shapes and trick colors. So it is no wonder that he was drawn to music of the same ilk. If you don't like snippets of this music, you won't like the film, because that is the core of it.

They are excepted and played all out of context, and the fact that it doesn't matter is remarkable. There is no long form musical narrative, no development, just rosy conversation. While listening, we see an illustrated life, partly re-enacted.

Its dreadful, every bit of it. And highly regarded all around.

Why? Its a mystery, a beautiful mystery.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1962 (UK) See more »

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Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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