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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

Modeste Tchaikovsky: I've got a title for your symphony: "The Pathetic". If it really is all about you. It's so much more fitting than "The Tragic". Just "Symphony #6 in B minor: The Pathetic".
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Polovtsian Dances
from "Prince Igor"
Composed by Aleksandr Borodin (as Alexander Borodin)
Played as background to one of Nina's romantic encounters.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Tribute to a Composer Genius
6 November 2004 | by jk_thompsonSee all my reviews

I've always enjoyed watching this movie, so much because the music alone stands out for its exhilarating beauty. ( Possible Spoilers! ) Though not historically accurate, it captures the psychological emotions and passions, especially during the seven minute portion when the composer is playing the piano and imagining what the complete second movement of his Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 "visually" represents to himself, and what Antonina's amorous delusions would of wished it meant! In totality, the performance of this concerto and the visual interactions between Tchaikovsky, Sasha, Antonina, Madame von Meck, and the others in the concert hall are extremely intense concerning one of Russia's most famous composers. The director Ken Russell does an excellent job at directing his actors and actresses to portray the required emotional intensity, though somewhat comical over exaggerated script of the story based on the book, "Beloved Friend" The Story of Tchaikovsky and Nadejda von Meck. But, even so the excellent acting by the leading and supporting actors and actresses move this film into its "pathetique" or tragic climax. The acting by the wonderful actress Glenda Jackson is superb in her interpretation of the unbalanced Antonina Milyukova. Her performance is an effective counterbalance to Richard Chamberlain's extraordinarily complicated portrayal of Peter Tchaikovsky with all of his emotional energies concentrated on his musical compositions and his private personal torments controlling his "fate" of never having what society would deem a "normal" life! So much said that this excellent movie is a tribute to a composer genius, especially on the anniversary ( 6th November 1893 ) of the one-hundred-eleventh year of his unfortunate mysterious death by his own hands. My rating for this movie is a 3 out of 4.


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