6.6/10
1,910
32 user 28 critic

Lisztomania (1975)

Composer and pianist Franz Liszt attempts to overcome his hedonistic lifestyle while repeatedly being drawn back into it by the many women in his life and fellow composer Richard Wagner.

Director:

Ken Russell

Writer:

Ken Russell
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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
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Storyline

A send-up of the bawdy life of Romantic composer/piano virtuoso Franz Liszt, with ubiquitous phallic imagery and a good portion of the film devoted to Liszt's "friendship" with fellow composer Richard Wagner. The film begins during the time when Franz would give piano performance to a crowd of shrieking teenage fans while maintaining affairs with his (multiple!) mistresses. He eventually seeks Princess Carolyne of St. Petersburg (at her invitation), elopes, and, after their marriage is forbidden by the Pope, 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 »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roger Daltrey and Paul Nicholas co-starred previously in "Tommy" (1975). Daltrey played the title character and Nicolas played Cousin Kevin. See more »

Quotes

Richard Wagner: Is it true that when Liszt was a kid he played Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata at a concert and the composer himself jumped up and kissed him?
Rossini: Certainly Beethoven kissed the boy. By that time he was as deaf as a post.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Spoofs Horror of Dracula (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Orpheus Song
Composed by Franz Liszt
Lyrics by Jonathan Benson and Roger Daltrey
Performed by Roger Daltrey
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Grotesque effort at musical character assassination of Liszt and Wagner
20 March 2015 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

The film suffers from atrocious vulgarization in very bad style and taste throughout, which is a pity, because the idea is not bad at all. Liszt and Wagner are portrayed in gross caricature, which they were already while they were alive and kicking, and just like the 19th century caricatures even these modern ones do not miss their target and actually pinpoint some obvious truths about these the greatest divas among composers in monstrous vanity and atrocious hubris. Liszt was the more sympathetic and actually fell a prey and victim to the ruthlessness of Wagner ending up as a trophy in his graveyard, while the depicting of Wagner as a vampire and prelude to Hitler, his Frankenstein monster, is not altogether maladroit. In certain aspects it actually hits the nail. The unnecessary hooliganism of the film is the corruption of the music, which really is very little Liszt and Wagner but the more Rick Wakeman in horrible disfigurement in pop and rock versions. This is not a music film or any kind of biography or documentation of great composers but rather a twisted parasitic phantasmagoria tearing classical music apart and more or less destroying it. Ringo Starr as a pope with Liverpool accent doesn't make things any better. It isn't even funny but only stupid and disgusting. although a few laughs must out. Still, because of the idea, the imagination, the great camera work and the brilliant fireworks entertainment, I have to give it 5, which is the lowest I ever rated a film here, and I am very doubtful whether I will see any other of Ken Russell's films on music, no matter how much I appreciated his "Valentino".


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