A huge panorama of Richard Wagner's life and work, from before the 1848 revolution, through his exile in Switzerland, his rescue by the besotted King Ludwig II of Bavaria, to the final ... See full summary »
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1  
1984   1983   1981  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Richard Burton ...  Richard Wagner 10 episodes, 1981-1983
Vanessa Redgrave ...  Cosima von Bulow 9 episodes, 1981-1983
Miguel Herz-Kestranek ...  Hans von Bülow 8 episodes, 1981-1983
László Gálffi ...  King Ludwig II of Bavaria / ... 8 episodes, 1981-1983
John Gielgud ...  Pfistermeister 8 episodes, 1981-1983
Gyula Benkö ...  Narrator 8 episodes, 1981-1983
Gemma Craven ...  Minna / ... 7 episodes, 1981-1983
Ralph Richardson ...  Pfordten 6 episodes, 1983
Richard Pasco ...  Otto Wesendonck 5 episodes, 1981-1983
Laurence Olivier ...  Pfeuffer 5 episodes, 1983
Andrew Cruickshank Andrew Cruickshank ...  Narrator / ... 5 episodes, 1981-1983
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Storyline

A huge panorama of Richard Wagner's life and work, from before the 1848 revolution, through his exile in Switzerland, his rescue by the besotted King Ludwig II of Bavaria, to the final triumph at Bayreuth. Richard Wagner's radical musical and political ideas, his German nationalism, and even his anti-Semitism are set in the context of his life and times. Written by Adrian Thorpe <acthorpe@epic.net>

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This mini-series was not shown until the autumn of 1984, due to concerns that it was too long and boring. It was widely felt that it would never have been released at all were it not for Richard Burton's death in the summer of that year. This mini-series was then broadcast as a tribute to him. See more »

Goofs

When Ludwig is wading into the water to drown himself, automobiles are seen driving on a highway on the far shore. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version screened on British TV features Andrew Cruickshank as narrator, not Donald Moffat. See more »

User Reviews

Long, but not boring
12 April 2000 | by DeeDee-10See all my reviews

With a stupendous cast headed by Richard Burton, this film takes on the life of Wagner and seems to raise the same complaints his audience had regarding his operas: long bacchanals of passion and excess. Art imitates life? You bet! Burton's monologues are brilliant as usual (I'm a long-time Burton fan) full of emotion and brilliantly performed. As to why everyone including royalty continued to support and love his music, chosing to ignore for the most part his despicible life in which he treated everyone shabbily including his wife, lovers, patrons, etc. . . .is it any different today? Don't we love our music/film icons ignoring their dark side? This film also made me want to rush to history books to read more about the era, especially about the young king of Bavaria. Take two nights to watch the video.


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Details

Country:

UK | Austria | Hungary

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wagner - Das Leben und Werk Richard Wagners See more »

Filming Locations:

Lucerne, Switzerland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored integral)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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