Omnibus (1967–2003)
4 user 9 critic

Dante's Inferno 

The story of the influential 19th century British poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his troubled and somewhat morbid relationship with his wife and his art.


Ken Russell


Austin Frazer (commentary and dialogue), Austin Frazer (scenario) | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
Oliver Reed ... Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Judith Paris ... Elizabeth Siddal
Andrew Faulds ... William Morris
Izabella Telezynska Izabella Telezynska ... Christina Rossetti (as Iza Teller)
Christopher Logue Christopher Logue ... Swinburne
Gala Mitchell Gala Mitchell ... Jane Morris
Pat Ashton Pat Ashton ... Fanny Cornforth
Clive Goodwin Clive Goodwin ... Ruskin
David Jones David Jones ... Howell
Norman Dewhurst Norman Dewhurst ... Burne-Jones
Tony Gray Tony Gray ... W. M. Rossetti
Dougie Gray Dougie Gray ... Hunt
Derek Boshier Derek Boshier ... Millais
Caroline Coon Caroline Coon ... Annie Miller
Janet Deuters Janet Deuters ... Emma Brown


A movie about jealousy, and the complex and painful relationship between Rossetti and his sickly wife, Elizabeth. They are members of the upper-crust layer of society, bourgeois painters, poets and philosophers. Rossetti struggles with his own emotions for his wife, as she refuses his sexual advances before they marry, and, once they do marry, she is unable to bear him any children. She believes he has impregnated another woman (a model), commits suicide, and, as he chooses to bury his best poems with her coffin, he is driven insane when confronted with the idea of exhuming her coffin and retrieving the book to sell to his fans. Written by Jonathan Dakss <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

22 December 1967 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ken Russell: [snake] Snake crawling on Dante's face after he crashes into the bird cages. See more »

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User Reviews

Eerily beautiful
24 January 2000 | by Mata-3See all my reviews

I saw this film once, at least 30 years ago, at a small University art house, but it has haunted me ever since. So strange and otherworldly, I have sometimes wondered if I may have only dreamed it, and that no such film ever existed. It is a pleasure (AND a relief!) to know it in fact exists, and was not an hallucinatory result of mid-60s/early 70s mind-expansion experimentations. (at least not my own...)

It certainly may have been the filmmakers' result of such experimentation, if my memory serves. I recall an exquisite vision of eerie beauty, a languid unfolding of a most unusual story, verging on the surreal.

The titular "Dante" is Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and the story takes us into the realm of the "Pre-Raphaelite" art movement of the late 1800's. We meet the extraordinary painters and poets who made up this community, all actual historical persons. One of the most astonishing things about this film is the absolutely UNCANNY resemblance of some of the actresses to the actual art models they portray. If you are familiar with some of the Pre-Raphaelite paintings, you will instantly recognize those faces.

This is a rare and beautiful jewel of a movie, and I fervently hope it will be released on video someday. I would snap it up in an instant. If you ever come across it at some little art house someday, go see it without hesitation. You will be haunted ever after, as well.

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