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Don Giovanni (1979)

Screen adapatation of Mozart's greatest opera. Don Giovanni, the infamous womanizer, makes one conquest after another until the ghost of Donna Anna's father, the Commendatore, (whom ... See full summary »

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writers:

Lorenzo da Ponte (libretto), Francis Savel (collaboration) (as Frantz Salieri) | 4 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruggero Raimondi ... Don Giovanni
John Macurdy John Macurdy ... The Commendatore
Edda Moser Edda Moser ... Donna Anna
Kiri Te Kanawa Kiri Te Kanawa ... Donna Elvira
Kenneth Riegel Kenneth Riegel ... Don Ottavio
José van Dam José van Dam ... Leporello
Teresa Berganza Teresa Berganza ... Zerlina
Malcolm King Malcolm King ... Masetto
Eric Adjani Eric Adjani ... A Valet in Black
Roberto Del Lago Roberto Del Lago
Sandro Dal Pra Sandro Dal Pra
Cristina Fondi Cristina Fondi
Patrizia Murari Patrizia Murari
Cristina Nizzero Cristina Nizzero
Simonetta Noce Simonetta Noce
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Storyline

Screen adapatation of Mozart's greatest opera. Don Giovanni, the infamous womanizer, makes one conquest after another until the ghost of Donna Anna's father, the Commendatore, (whom Giovanni killed) makes his appearance. He offers Giovanni one last chance to repent for his multitudinious improprieties. He will not change his ways So, he is sucked down into hell by evil spirits. High drama, hysterical comedy, magnificent music! Written by <frankpat@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Gaumont [France]

Country:

France | Italy | West Germany

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

14 November 1979 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Mozart's Don Giovanni See more »

Filming Locations:

Venice, Veneto, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Joseph Losey originally wanted Rudolf Nureyev to play the Valet in Black but Nureyev was unavailable so Eric Adjani was cast. See more »

Connections

Version of Don Giovanni (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A multi-level reading of a complex opera
27 August 2005 | by RosabelSee all my reviews

A fascinating film that seems to be operating on several levels at once. It was hard for me sometimes to just listen to it as an opera, because I felt that there were so many messages being imparted through the sets, landscape and especially the extras who continually move about the scene as the main characters sing and act their stories. Others have observed that the common people are present everywhere, and yet just ignored by Don Giovanni; he even conducts his attempted seduction of Zerlina with half a village standing on the steps and watching. As an aristocrat, he doesn't even acknowledge the existence of these underlings, and can do what he wants without worrying about their opinion or their interference. Nor is this just the behavior of a bad man; Don Ottavio is much the same during one of his arias (I think it is 'Il mio tesoro') when he is walking about declaiming as peasants dot the lawn, taking their afternoon siesta. Perhaps the point is not so much to accuse anyone of being deliberately cruel, as to underline how absolutely divided the aristocracy is from the common people. Not only do the aristocrats ignore the commoners, the commoners seem to be pretty oblivious to the aristocrats, too. No matter what Don Giovanni gets up to, the work of the peasants just goes on - he may wander down to the kitchen once in a while to give a little speech and pinch a serving wench, but it makes very little difference to anyone if he's present or not. The whole of this society seems as artificial and fragile as Don Giovanni's lace sleeves; this is a world that is almost at the limit of its ability to hold together under the weight of its contradictions.

Ruggero Raimondi is a terrific Don Giovanni - handsome, graceful and charming, but with a hardness in the line of his mouth and his eyes that creates a very disturbing feeling of danger. Zerlina, though attracted, seems to sense that there is something wrong about him, though she isn't quite sure where to attribute the feeling of fear he inspires in her. Teresa Berganza was my favorite of the 3 main ladies; Edda Moser seemed very grim after her opening scene, and Kiri Te Kanawa reminded me irresistibly of Madeleine Kahn in "Young Frankenstein", especially with that tall silver-powdered hairdo. The silent servant played by Eric Adjani was another one of the puzzles that I felt this movie kept posing me. He seems to be a younger version of Don Giovanni, and one who is present almost as Don Giovanni's spirit, when the actual man is not there. During moments of crisis, he almost always watches Don Giovanni, not the action that is taking place outside him, and only Don Giovanni seems to really look at him. In the finale, he is almost like Banquo's ghost, sitting in Don Giovanni's chair until the master confronts him, and when the Commendatore's statue appears, Don Giovanni almost seems to bid him goodbye as he passes. I think the servant is Don Giovanni's conscience, the age when Don Giovanni, as a young man, cast him off and turned to evil. Now he follows him like a ghost of himself, observing but unable to influence.


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