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Death in Venice (1971)

Morte a Venezia (original title)
GP | | Drama | 5 March 1971 (Italy)
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While recovering in Venice, a sickly composer becomes dangerously fixated with a teenage boy.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Gustav von Aschenbach
... Hotel Manager
Mark Burns ... Alfred
Nora Ricci ... Tadzio's Governess
... Frau von Aschenbach
... Esmeralda - Brothel Prostitute
Björn Andrésen ... Tadzio (as Björn Andresen)
... Tadzio's Mother
Leslie French ... Travel Agent
... Barber
Antonio Appicella ... Vagrant
Sergio Garfagnoli ... Jaschu - Polish Youth
Ciro Cristofoletti ... Hotel Clerk
Luigi Battaglia ... Scapegrace
... English Tourist
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Storyline

In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period of artistic and personal stress. But he finds no peace there, for he soon develops a troubling attraction to an adolescent boy, Tadzio, on vacation with his family. The boy embodies an ideal of beauty that Aschenbach has long sought and he becomes infatuated. However, the onset of a deadly pestilence threatens them both physically and represents the corruption that compromises and threatens all ideals. Written by Eric Wees <eric_wees@ccmail.chin.doc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The celebrated story of a man obsessed with ideal beauty.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| | | | |

Release Date:

5 March 1971 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Death in Venice  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although mainly filmed on location in Venice, part of the interior of St Marks in Venice had to be reconstructed at Cinecitta Studios. The exteriors were used during filming. See more »

Goofs

As Aschenbach watches the departing Tadzio just after he twirls on the canopy posts, two young boys are walking hand in hand toward the camera. In the next shot, only one of the boys is seen walking in front of Aschenbach. See more »

Quotes

Gustav von Aschenbach: I remember we had one of these in my father's house. The aperture through which the sand runs is so tiny that... that first it seems as if the level in the upper glass never changes. To our eyes it appears that the sand runs out only... only at the end... and until it does, it's not worth thinking about... 'til the last moment... when there's no more time left to think about it.
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Connections

Referenced in Videoclub (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied
(uncredited)
Written by Modest Mussorgsky
Performed by Masha Predit
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A unique achievement
21 June 2017 | by See all my reviews

I saw this movie in 1971 when I was very young. All I recall is a very sad story about an artist who was very ill when visiting Venice where he spent time furtively seeking out a boy he was attracted to. It was sad and depressing and a bit creepy. I watched it again 45 years later on TCM and it seemed to be a much more powerful statement about a tragic life and death that reaches its climax in Venice during a sweltering summer in 1911 when the city is overtaken by a cholera epidemic. The main role is played by Dirk Bogarde, a British actor, who is making the best of his last days longing for a love he can never achieve.The background music by Mahler is very sombre and fits the tragic ending. The city is being scrubbed to stop the spread of disease and no one wants to frighten away the tourists, who are the city's economic lifeblood. Again, the symbolic conflict between dreams and reality. The acting is superb. The period costumes are stunning. The photography is powerful and sweeping with seas, sunsets and the skyline of Venice. This movie is not entertainment but a work of art. I couldn't take more than one of these works at a time but it is worth seeing as a unique achievement.


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