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Wagner
     

Wagner

Director: Tony Palmer, Richard Burton, Vanessa Redgrave, Laszlo Galffi

Cast: Tony Palmer, Richard Burton, Vanessa Redgrave, Laszlo Galffi

 

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Originally a nine-hour British miniseries, this film on the last four decades in the life of Richard Wagner may have taken its long-winded cue from the lengthy operas of the famous 19th-century German composer and musical theorist -- the Ring des Nibelungen is 14-15 hours in itself, divided into four separate operas. This biographical film begins when Wagner is first

Overview

Originally a nine-hour British miniseries, this film on the last four decades in the life of Richard Wagner may have taken its long-winded cue from the lengthy operas of the famous 19th-century German composer and musical theorist -- the Ring des Nibelungen is 14-15 hours in itself, divided into four separate operas. This biographical film begins when Wagner is first recognized for his work, yet in that same year, 1848, he was forced out of his homeland for his radical politics (he supported the unification of separate kingdoms under one Germany) and settled in Zurich for awhile. Focusing on character traits that are well-known and would not endear him to anyone, the film details his bigotry (a confirmed anti-Semitic), his insensitivity, and his obsession with money -- he went after the bottom line even if it meant losing friendships or ruining his marriage. Although Wagner is known for his music theory and the contribution he made to opera during his lifetime, very little attention is given to his actual works in this film. Venerable British thespians (Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Vanessa Redgrave, Joan Plowright, and Richard Burton as Wagner) light up the cast but not always with the same brightness. In the final analysis, the slow-paced story is simply too long in the telling, and even the visually sumptuous costumes and production design cannot make up for a slow script, uneven acting, and problems in direction. The film version runs 300 minutes.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/26/2005
UPC:
0032031124790
Original Release:
1983
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kultur Video
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
9:00:00

Special Features

[None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Burton Richard Wagner
Vanessa Redgrave Cosima
Laszlo Galffi Ludwig II of Bavaria
John Gielgud Pfistermeister
Ralph Richardson Pfordten
Laurence Olivier Pfeufer
Gemma Craven Minna
Ekkerhard Schall Franz Liszt
Ronald Pickup Nietzsche
Marthe Keller Mathilde Wesendonck
Richard Pasco Otto Wesendonck
Joan Plowright Mrs. Taylor
Arthur Lowe Meser
Franco Nero Crespi
Gabriel Byrne Karl Ritter
Andrew Cruickshank Minister Bar
Cyril Cusack Sulzer
Vernon Dobtcheff Giacomo Meyerbeer
Bill Fraser Mayor of Bayreuth
Christopher Gable Peter Cornelius
Liza Goddard Jessie Laussot
Joan Greenwood Frau Dangl
Miguel Hertz-Kestranek Hans von Bulow
Pete Hofmann Schnorr von Carlosfeld
Laszlo Horvath Dr. Hanslick
Gwyneth Jones Malvina von Carolsfeld
Barbara Leigh-Hunt Queen Mother
Steven Oliver Richter
Corin Redgrave Dr. Pusinelli
Prunella Scales Frau Pollert
John Shrapnel Semper
Sigfrit Steiner Ludwig I
Jess Thomas Albert Niemann
Niall Toibin Lutz
Teo Usuelli Franz
William Walton Ffiedrich August II
Brook Williams Joukowsky
Jean-Luc Moreau Petipa
Georg Solti Conductor

Technical Credits
Tony Palmer Director,Editor
Simon Channing-Williams Producer
Terry Pritchard Art Director
Shirley Russell Costumes/Costume Designer
Vittorio Storaro Cinematographer
Charles Wood Screenwriter
Alan Wright Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc 1
1. Part One [46:12]
2. Part Two [46:37]
3. Part Three [43:07]
Side #2 -- Disc 2
1. Part Four [44:59]
2. Part Five [38:40]
3. Part Six [47:56]
Side #3 -- Disc 3
1. Part Seven [47:52]
2. Part Eight [49:04]
Side #4 -- Disc 4
1. Part Nine [40:52]
2. Part Ten [1:00:17]
3. Credits [3:25]

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