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Death in Venice

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Overview

Based on a novel by Thomas Mann, Death in Venice stars Dirk Bogarde as a German composer who is terrified that he has lost all vestiges of humanity. While visiting Venice, Bogarde falls in love with a beautiful young boy Bjorn Andresen. The relationship is ruined by Bogarde's obsession with the boy's youth and physical perfection; the composer realizes that the child represents an ideal that he can never match. The character played by Dirk Bogarde is evidently intended to be Gustav Mahler, whose haunting music is...
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Overview

Based on a novel by Thomas Mann, Death in Venice stars Dirk Bogarde as a German composer who is terrified that he has lost all vestiges of humanity. While visiting Venice, Bogarde falls in love with a beautiful young boy Bjorn Andresen. The relationship is ruined by Bogarde's obsession with the boy's youth and physical perfection; the composer realizes that the child represents an ideal that he can never match. The character played by Dirk Bogarde is evidently intended to be Gustav Mahler, whose haunting music is featured on the film's soundtrack.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Vintage featurette - Visconti's Venice; A tour of Venice stills gallery; Theatrical trailer; Subtitles: English, Français & Español (feature film only)
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Wheeler Winston Dixon
Toward the middle of his life, after having worked in a series of thankless comedies for Rank, which nevertheless made him a household name in England, Dirk Bogarde struck out on his own to make a stunning series of films with American expatriate Joseph Losey, most especially The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967). While much of his earlier work had been inconsequential, these films established Bogarde at a stroke as one of England's most serious actors, and led him on a path of self-discovery that eventually wound its way to director Luchino Visconti's door. In Visconti's intensely operatic The Damned (La Caduta degli dei, 1969), Bogarde played the scion of a German munitions manufacturer in Nazi Germany to brutal effect; in 1971, he and Visconti collaborated on one of the director's most disturbing films, Death in Venice (Morte a Venezia). Loosely based on the novel by Thomas Mann, Death in Venice follows composer Gustav von Aschenbach (Bogarde) as he travels to Venice for a vacation, unaware that a mysterious plague is busily claiming the holiday makers one by one, as the management of the luxury hotel where von Aschenbach is staying stage a quiet cover-up, so that people simply "disappear" without explanation. In the midst of this unsettling situation, von Aschenbach develops an obsession with a young boy staying at the resort, Tadzio (Bjorn Andresen). Aging and well aware that the young man could have no possible interest in him other than to manipulate him for money, von Aschenbach nevertheless finds himself in the grip of a passion he cannot escape or explain, and even resorts to cosmetic measures to alter his aging countenance. But all is to no avail, and the film ends in one of the most nihilistic and hopeless final sequences in the history of cinema. Bogarde's performance is heroic and deeply sympathetic; Visconti's direction is methodical and coiled, gradually springing the trap in the film's final half-hour. A remarkable effort on all accounts, this is one of Visconti's finest films, and one of Bogarde's greatest accomplishments.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/10/2010
  • UPC: 085391103264
  • Original Release: 1971
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:11:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dirk Bogarde Gustav Von Aschenbach
Bjorn Andresen Tadzio
Silvana Mangano Tadzio's Mother
Marisa Berenson Frau Von Aschenbach
Mark Burns Alfred
Dominique Darel English Tourist
Sergio Garafanolo Polish Young Man
Romolo Valli Hotel manager
Nora Ricci Governess
Carole Andre Esmeralda
Leslie French Travel Agent
Franco Fabrizi Barber
Ciro Cristofoletti Hotel clerk
Luigi Battaglia Scapegrace
Masha Predit Singer
Technical Credits
Luchino Visconti Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Nedo Azzini Set Decoration/Design
Niccola Badalucco Screenwriter
Pasqualino De Santis Cinematographer
Mario de Silvio Makeup
Mauro Gavazzi Makeup
Franco Mannino Score Composer
Ruggero Mastroianni Editor
Giuseppe Muratori Sound/Sound Designer
Goffredo Rocchetti Makeup
Ferdinando Scarfiotti Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Piero Tosi Costumes/Costume Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Death in Venice
1. Credits [4:08]
2. Venice Arrival [4:04]
3. A Ride for Nothing [5:50]
4. Hotel Des Bains [3:38]
5. Until the Last Moment [3:43]
6. Salon Crowd [6:11]
7. A Boy and His Family [3:37]
8. Beauty's Origins [7:16]
9. On the Beach [7:11]
10. Tadzio [4:18]
11. Contaminated? [6:04]
12. Farewell Glance [3:35]
13. Trunk Mishap [3:35]
14. Family Memory [3:16]
15. Inspired [4:23]
16. No Need for Concern [4:52]
17. Esmerelda [2:25]
18. "I Love You" [1:25]
19. City of Secrets [2:35]
20. Sinister Serenade [3:33]
21. Asiatic Cholera [8:56]
22. With/Without Warning [5:28]
23. Makeover [3:04]
24. Failing Shadow [3:32]
25. Stillborn Perfection [7:15]
26. Deserted [3:26]
27. Tadzio and Jasciu Fight [4:18]
28. Death's Reach [3:14]
29. End Credits [3:13]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Death in Venice
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Visconti's Venice
      A Tour of Venice
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Spoken Languages
         English
      Subtitles
         English
         Français
         Español
         Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    deathless beauty always inspires madness within

    Visconti's interpretation of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice is a triumphant masterpiece spot-lighting the intellectual pursuit of beauty through the metaphor of an older man admiring a young man. To the base, some will say this is a piece of homoerotic literature better written for a sophiscated wit, while to the cultivated mind, it celebrates the love of purity, chase and innocence. Aschenbach's admiration for Tadziu is as old as Civilization and new as next fall fashion. For beauty is an event prefixed upon rising above the senses in which true appreciation can be attained. The movie remains worthy of its accolades.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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