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Mesmer (1994)

Not Rated | | Biography , Drama | August 1994 (Canada)
A biography of the eighteenth century Viennese physician, Franz Anton Mesmer, who used unorthodox healing practices based on his theory of "animal magnetism."

Director:

Roger Spottiswoode

Writer:

Dennis Potter
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donal Donnelly ... Doctor (as Donal Donelly)
David Burke ... Doctor
Peter Dvorsky ... Dr. Deslon
Alan Rickman ... Franz Anton Mesmer
Anna Thalbach Anna Thalbach ... Francisca
David Hemblen ... Dr. Ingehousz
Simon McBurney ... Franz
Gillian Barge ... Frau Mesmer
István Szilágyi István Szilágyi ... Coachman
János Gosztonyi János Gosztonyi ... Footman
Heinz Trixner Heinz Trixner ... Baron de Horka
Petra Koberl Petra Koberl ... Baroness de Horka
Peter Janisch Peter Janisch ... Chancellor
Caroline Holdaway Caroline Holdaway ... Felicity
Amanda Ooms ... Maria Theresa Paradies
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Storyline

The 18th-century Viennese medical establishment is threatened by the radical yet successful healing methods of Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer. Blind pianist Maria Theresa Paradies, daughter of a well-to-do businessman, becomes Mesmer's patient after he calms her seizure at a concert. As the two are drawn into an intimate relationship, the situation is used as an excuse to banish Mesmer from Vienna. Undaunted, he moves on, becoming a court favorite in Paris. Written by Bhob Stewart <bhob@genie.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Charlatan, Fraud... or Genius

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Austria | Canada | UK | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1994 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Dr. Mesmer - O Feiticeiro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£5,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Franz Anton Mesmer: [closing Francisca's eyelids] A little sleep, a little dream.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: Die Hard (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting Biography of a Complicated 'Psychiatrist'
28 May 1999 | by Alice-9See all my reviews

Was he a charlatan or a revolutionary in treating diseases of the mind? Hard to say, even after seeing the beautifully photographed movie. Our hindsight perspective is 100% but in the days of leeching, and bleeding to cure peoples' ills, the fact that he showed patients great attention and compassion was certainly a change. Mad people were usually penned up in Bedlam or some other horrid pigsty. Here, he is attempting bravely to take another tact in the unknown mysteries of mental illness. This movie also gives the scam-like aspects of his personality, as he beguiles the royal courtiers with his water therapies, touching them and arousing them, thus giving the semblance of 'healing'. I was reminded of the old-time revivals, and the sexy preachers coming close, putting hands-on the afflicted and shouting 'heal' and 'Hallelujah, sistuh'. Of course, if you're a repressed 'respectable woman', this is the only intimate way you can let a man not your husband touch you. His shrew of a wife, and utterly spiritually retarded stepson is beautifully played. I also like any movie that shows parts of the world I haven't seen, and this one gives us Vienna, parts of France and the costumes of 18th Century European civilization. It is NOT your everyday movie!!!! I would suggest viewing this one in series with bio-pics of Sigmund Freud and some of the other fighters of mental illness. Rickman is indeed magnetic in this one.


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