Wagner

Wagner

Director: Tony Palmer

Cast: 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… See more details below

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.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/11/2011
UPC:
5060230861135
Original Release:
1983
Source:
E1 (Generic)
Region Code:
0
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
7:46:00
Sales rank:
7,439

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

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Wagner
1. Prologue - Pillnitz Castle [11:26]
2. Revolution in Dresden Minna [22:57]
3. Burning of the Opera House Enter the Prussians [8:32]
4. Flight into Switzerland At the House of Jacob Sulzer [11:41]
5. A Wanted Criminal & Hatred of Meyerbeer/The Theatre of the Future [14:35]
6. Bordeaux & Jessie Laussot [7:31]
7. Exile in Paris [4:54]
8. With Liszt in Switzerland [11:08]
9. On the Mountains; Illness & Sanatorium [10:36]
10. At the House of Otto Wesendonck /The Asyl [15:18]
11. Mathilde Wesendock and the Tristan & Isolde Poem/Enter Hans & Cosima von Bülow [17:11]
12. Exile in Venice & flight [17:34]
Disc #2 -- Wagner
1. Return to Paris & the disaster of Tannhäuser Meyerbeer [27:18]
2. Years of wandering Russia, Hungary [17:39]
3. Vienna & Tristan A Royal Pardon & the Death of Minna [7:54]
4. Meistersinger & a desperate flight from debtors [12:55]
5. Enter Ludwig of Bavaria and then Cosima & Hans von Bülow [14:30]
6. Confrontation with Liszt The Flying Dutchman [3:02]
7. Rehearsals of Tristan & Isolde but trouble at court [5:08]
8. Tristan & Isolde in spite of everything [25:14]
9. On the Lake of Hohenschwangau "Be a Leader of your people" [29:22]
10. Thrown out of Munich [15:08]
Disc #3 -- Wagner
1. Tribschen The Visit of Ludwig [17:11]
2. The Field of the battle & the defeat of Ludwig/Cosima Begs von Bülow for divorce [18:35]
3. Nietzsche & the birth of Siegfried [13:15]
4. Bismarck & Rheingold [13:48]
5. Guilt, Hatred of France/War & Marriage [16:10]
6. The Tribschen Idyll [4:10]
7. Bismarck as Hero? [6:42]
8. Bayreuth Ludwig & Neuschwanstein [6:12]
9. The Wagner Societies [5:32]
10. Preparations for The Ring [8:01]
11. Denunciation [7:02]
12. Opening Night [12:03]
13. Venice & Siena [7:33]
14. Parsifal [5:08]
15. A Death in Venice [8:40]
16. End Credits [3:25]

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