Screen Two (1985–2002)
9.0/10
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Virtuoso 

In 1962, the young pianist, John Ogdon wins international success in Moscow and embarks on a whirlwind career. Ten years later, he suffers the onset of mental illness that threatens to destroy his playing, marriage and sanity.

Director:

Tony Smith

Writers:

William Humble, Brenda Lucas (as Brenda Lucas Ogdon)
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Alfred Molina ... John Ogdon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruce Bob Bruce Bob ... Dean Webb
Jane Booker ... Carolyn Schurmann
Stephen Boxer ... Brian Masters
John Heard ... Michael Johnson
Philip Locke ... Wilfred Stiff
James Nesbitt ... Young Man
Sverre Anker Ousdal ... Gerard Schurmann
Jeremy Sinden Jeremy Sinden ... Richard Croucher
Alison Steadman ... Brenda Ogdon
Mark Wing-Davey Mark Wing-Davey ... Dr. Powell
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Storyline

In 1962, the young pianist, John Ogdon wins international success in Moscow and embarks on a whirlwind career. Ten years later, he suffers the onset of mental illness that threatens to destroy his playing, marriage and sanity.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1989 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Life After Who: Philip Hinchcliffe (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Appassionata
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

The British "Shine"
13 July 2004 | by Clive-SilasSee all my reviews

More or less contemporaneous with Australian David Helfgott was Britain's John Ogdon, the greatest concert pianist of his generation in this country, and also a man who developed mental problems. In this case it was paranoid schizophrenia, and this film sensitively but unsparingly portrays his descent into virtual madness and the effect on his family and friends.

This TV production marks Alfred Molina's first significant leading role, and he acquits himself very well as Ogdon, despite the (fortunately ignored) disqualification of being approximately a foot taller than the man he was portraying. However, Molina's next collaboration with the writer William Humble, a biography of comic genius Tony Hancock, although well played, was too critical an examination of the man and was repudiated by many people close to Hancock, including his writers Galton and Simpson. Apparently this program fared better, and was supported by Ogdon and his family.

Sadly Ogdon died the following year at the age of just 52.


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