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The Music Lovers (1971)

Piano teacher Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky struggles against his homosexuality by marrying, but unfortunately he chooses a nymphomaniac whom he cannot satisfy.

Director:

Ken Russell

Writers:

Melvyn Bragg (screenplay), Catherine Drinker Bowen (book) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Chamberlain ... Tchaikovsky
Glenda Jackson ... Nina (Antonina Milyukova)
Max Adrian ... Nicholas Rubinstein
Christopher Gable Christopher Gable ... Count Anton Chiluvsky
Kenneth Colley ... Modeste Tchaikovsky
Izabella Telezynska Izabella Telezynska ... Madame Nadedja von Meck
Maureen Pryor Maureen Pryor ... Nina's Mother
Sabina Maydelle Sabina Maydelle ... Sasha Tchaikovsky
Andrew Faulds ... Davidov
Bruce Robinson ... Alexei Sofronov
Ben Aris Ben Aris ... Young Lieutenant
Xavier Russell Xavier Russell ... Koyola
Dennis Myers Dennis Myers ... Von Meck, twin
John Myers John Myers ... Von Meck, twin
Joanne Brown Joanne Brown ... Olga Bredska
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Storyline

The compelling and bizarre story of Tchaikovsky's life and music. In Ken Russell's own words: "It's the story of the marriage between a homosexual and a nymphomaniac." Written by Jon Dakss <dakss@columbia.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

12 February 1971 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lonely Heart See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Russ-Arts,Russ Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The extras playing (miming) the orchestra in the scene featuring Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky playing the 1st Piano Concerto were mostly from the Bristol University Music Department Orchestra. They were paid 7 guineas a day (£7 and 7 shillings) each - the extras in the audience were only on 5 guineas. The scene was filmed in the Music Room of Bath Spa. See more »

Quotes

Antonina Milyukova: I musn't panic. I musn't panic. I musn't...
See more »

Connections

Version of It Was a Gay Ballnight (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

THE LETTER SONG
from EUGENE ONEGIN
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Vocalist: April Cantelo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Over the Top and not altogether accurate - what else would you expect!
21 August 2007 | by hoggaglust-1See all my reviews

As startling and entertaining a piece of cinema The Music Lovers is, on the whole it will disappoint those who (not unreasonably) may be expecting an accurate (if typically melodramatic) biopic.

Rife with inaccuracies, The Music Lovers however occasionally elicits tantalising moments of truth which will be familiar to those who might have studied the great man and his music. The moment of madness during the composition of the violin concerto, Tchaikovsk'y mixing fact and fiction during the composition of Eugene Onegin; (resulting in his disastrous marriage), the brief glimpse of his benefactress during a stay at her apartments, the failed suicide attempt etc etc. However, these fascinating glimpses into well documented occurrences are undeveloped, and in their place we are left with a pastiche either of overly romanticised or histrionic scenes of theatrical fantasy.

The real strength here lies in the actor's performances, even Richard Chaimberlain's stuffy and occasionally irritating performance has its moments and Glenda Jackson is wonderful as the vulnerable, unloved wife. The cinematography too is wonderful, evocative and colourful - perfectly in tune with the music of Tchaikovsk'y which also is used to great effect.

If you can take Ken Russel's notorious penchant for the ridiculous (and at times, distasteful) and are not expecting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then The Music Lovers is worth watching if only for its being so gloriously over the top!


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