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Lisztomania (1975)

Composer and pianist Franz Liszt (Roger Daltrey) attempts to overcome his hedonistic life-style while repeatedly being drawn back into it by the many women in his life and fellow composer Richard Wagner (Paul Nicholas).

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 and piano virtuoso Franz Liszt (Roger Daltrey), with ubiquitous phallic imagery and a good portion of the movie devoted to Liszt's "friendship" with fellow composer Richard Wagner (Paul Nicholas). This movie begins during the time when Franz would give piano performance to a crowd of shrieking teenage fans while maintaining affairs with his mistresses. He eventually seeks Princess Carolyn of St. Petersburg (Sara Kestelman) (at her invitation), elopes, and, after their marriage is forbidden by the Pope (Sir Ringo Starr), 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:

Lisztomania 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

Oliver Reed: The man who seals the door of the "fumigation" room at Carolyn's palace. See more »

Quotes

Marie d'Agoult: Spare him, Francois! Don't cut off his... genius in it's prime!
Count d'Agoult: Oh, is that what you call it?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Ken Russell: A Bit of a Devil (2012) 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

Gives the word grotesque a whole new meaning.
2 May 2001 | by redmundSee all my reviews

I'm a great fan of Ken Russell's films. What I like most about them is the director's ability (and willingness) to totally immerse his productions into whatever mania happens to be the driving force behind its subject. The results are often excellent, occasionally poor. But never have I seen a film that was, at once, so incredibly visionary and God-awful as Lisztomania.

In most Russell films, fantasy takes on an important role in the dramatic narrative. In Lisztomania, the narrative is virtually jettisoned in favor of fantasy, and not to altogether admirable effect.

Still, any motion picture that can give us Richard Wagner portrayed as a Transylvanian vampire who gains musical inspiration by sucking the blood of Franz Liszt deserves points for imaginative hubris.

Ultimately, Lisztomania is less a film than a comic boot pastiche. Its humor is, by turns, dazzling and lead-footed. Compared to THE MUSIC LOVERS (another Russell bio-pic, this time about Tchaikovsky), Lisztomania is, for all it gleeful, lip-smacking gusto, a rather tired affair, largely because it's metaphors are so pedantic and literal-minded.

I should point out, however, that Wagner's third-act transformation (or should I say resurrection) into a machine gun-toting, Frankenstein-Hitler rock star (yes, you read correctly) is a genuinely


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