6.3/10
2,088
33 user 30 critic

Lisztomania (1975)

Composer and pianist Franz Liszt (Roger Daltrey) attempts to overcome his hedonistic life-style while repeatedly being drawn back into it by the many women in his life and fellow composer Richard Wagner (Paul Nicholas).

Director:

Ken Russell

Writer:

Ken Russell
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Biographical film of the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Dorothy Tutin, Scott Antony, Helen Mirren
Mahler (1974)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Composer Gustav Mahler's life, told in a series of flashbacks as he and his wife discuss their failing marriage during a train journey.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Robert Powell, Georgina Hale, Lee Montague
Valentino (1977)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In 1926, the tragic and untimely death of a silent screen actor caused female movie-goers to riot in the streets and in some cases to commit suicide - that actor was Rudolph Valentino. ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Rudolf Nureyev, Leslie Caron, Michelle Phillips
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Glenda Jackson, Max Adrian
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When the leading lady of a low-budget musical revue sprains her ankle, the assistant stage manager is forced to understudy and perform in her place, becoming a star and finding love in the process.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Twiggy, Christopher Gable, Max Adrian
Tommy (1975)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and, subsequently, the figurehead of a cult.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed
Women in Love (1969)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two best friends fall in love with a pair of women, but the relationships soon go in very different directions.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Alan Bates, Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson
The Rainbow (1989)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young woman deals in her own personal way with the trials of adolescence and young adulthood in early 1900s England.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Sammi Davis, Amanda Donohoe, Paul McGann
Gothic (1986)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The Shelleys visit Lord Byron and compete to write a horror story.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Julian Sands, Natasha Richardson
The Devils (1971)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 17th-century France, Father Urbain Grandier seeks to protect the city of Loudun from the corrupt establishment of Cardinal Richelieu. Hysteria occurs within the city when he is accused of witchcraft by a sexually repressed nun.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed, Dudley Sutton
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Guy Fawkes Day, 1892. Oscar Wilde goes to a performance of his controversial, banned play 'Salome'. The 'theatre' is a brothel and the players prostitutes.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Glenda Jackson, Stratford Johns, Nickolas Grace
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mysterious woman, fashion designer by day and prostitute by night, is hounded by two men: a married father of two, and a sexually repressed preacher.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Anthony Perkins, Bruce Davison
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roger Daltrey ... Franz Liszt
Sara Kestelman Sara Kestelman ... Princess Carolyn
Paul Nicholas ... Richard Wagner
Ringo Starr ... The Pope
Rick Wakeman ... Thor
John Justin ... Count d'Agoult
Fiona Lewis ... Marie d'Agoult
Veronica Quilligan ... Cosima
Nell Campbell ... Olga Janina
Andrew Reilly Andrew Reilly ... Hans Von Buelow
David English David English ... Captain
Imogen Claire Imogen Claire ... George Sand
Rikki Howard Rikki Howard ... Countess
David Corti David Corti ... Daniel
Anulka Dziubinska ... Lola Montez
Edit

Storyline

A send-up of the bawdy life of Romantic composer and piano virtuoso Franz Liszt (Roger Daltrey), with ubiquitous phallic imagery and a good portion of the movie devoted to Liszt's "friendship" with fellow composer Richard Wagner (Paul Nicholas). This movie begins during the time when Franz would give piano performance to a crowd of shrieking teenage fans while maintaining affairs with his mistresses. He eventually seeks Princess Carolyn of St. Petersburg (Sara Kestelman) (at her invitation), elopes, and, after their marriage is forbidden by the Pope (Sir Ringo Starr), he embraces the monastic life as an abbé. Written by Jonathan Dakss <dakss@columbia.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The erotic, exotic electrifying rock fantasy... It out-Tommy's TOMMY.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1976 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Fed musik og sex på drengen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (3 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Last theatrical movie of Andrew Faulds (Strauss). See more »

Quotes

Princess Carolyn: You and the Tsar are just different sides of the same coin: false gods worshiped in different ways. Dress the Tsar as a peasant and you have a peasant.
[searches for Liszt]
Princess Carolyn: Stop skulking behind that screen!
[continues]
Princess Carolyn: Dress Liszt in a crinoline and what do you have? The same thing: a sham. Rather than walk naked through the world, he chooses to play the imposter. What do you say?
Liszt: Bollocks!
Princess Carolyn: "Bollocks"? I don't speak Hungarian.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Music by Rick Wakeman Assisted by Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Hibernation
Composed by Rick Wakeman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Birth of Pop Culture
24 July 2006 | by myboigieSee all my reviews

To many, this film is the stunning-proof that director Ken Russell never had it, and that idiocy and egotism were mistaken for genius. You could say mistaking idiocy and egotism for genius has been the appeal of rock music! Others might say that Russell is simply childish or immature, and that his films are the "masturbatory-fantasies" of an overgrown-adolescent. This belief is unfounded. Is this film over-indulgent? Yes it is, dear readers, very-much-so, because it is art, not entertainment. That-said, if you chuck any expectations, this is a funny film and allegory about the rise of pop-culture in the 19th Century. It draws parallels between Liszt's fame with the other generally-hollow spectacle known as "rock." This is great film-making, and it should be noted that it has similarities between itself and "Rocky Horror," and even "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," as they all examine and explore the relationships between sexuality and pop-culture in similar-areas. It really is true that women threw their underwear at Franz Liszt during his performances, and that he had many-many lovers--groupies.

Lisztomania is an odd bridge-between "classic" rock and the emergent punk-movement of the time. The film can also be seen as a statement that "rock" is not really subversive or rebellious at-all, but ultimately arch-conservative, and repressive. Amen. It's just a hilarious, wild-romp that will make your guests extremely nervous, which films should do. Movies should challenge people to think and reflect--at-least occasionally. Ironically (or maybe-not!), Mr. Russell had contracted Malcolm MacLaren and Vivienne Westwood to design the S&M-costumes for his film, "Mahler." It should also-be-noted that "Liszt-o-Mania" was released exactly the same year that MacLaren's shop "SEX" opened on King's Row, the rest is as they say, is history. It couldn't be more camp, it has Little Nell in it.

Basically-put, this is about the the ins-and-outs of "why" we want and need pop-culture, and WHAT we generally-want from our "pop-idols" (sex, of-course). One could easily-say this film criticizes the absurd spectacle that rock had become by 1975, and we get this quite-often in the film. But this theme goes much-deeper, into the relationship-between artist and patron (once, just the aristocracy, now the mob is added). The sexuality is about mass-psychology, too, so Wilhelm Reich gets-his-due, and there is a plethora of Freudian-imagery. It is certainly a very-personal film for Russell, and probably amuses him as much as it does myself that it enrages so-many critics, but it should be noted that some of the absurdity and excess came from the producer of the film, not Mr. Russell. Ken Rusell enrages all the right-people, and that's what some film-making should be.

God love this lapsed-Catholic, and God love his ways. A flawed part of his canon, but very watchable and educational. As Russell began his career doing documentaries and impressionistic-films on composers for the BBC, it makes-sense that this is considered one of his most heretical-works. He complains about the opening country-song in his autobiography 'Altered States', and there were other aspects of the production he didn't want in the film. It's interesting to note that the 1980s was the period of his purest-work, due mainly to a three-picture-deal with Vestron. The 1970s were actually a very mixed-bag for him, as Lisztomania attests. He isn't entirely-pleased with it, but had some fun with the material, and there it is. I think it's a hoot, which means it isn't on DVD.


20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 33 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed