Screening on Film
Directed by Luchino Visconti.
With Romy Schneider, Helmut Berger, Trevor Howard.
France/Italy/West Germany, 1972, 35mm, color, 137 min.
English language version.

Visconti’s lush biopic of Ludwig II of Bavaria centers on the tormented and reluctant reign of the “mad king” (Berger), whose artistic tastes and excesses nearly bankrupted his country. The film features Romy Schneider (in a reprisal of her ingenue role as Princess Elisabeth of Austria) as Ludwig’s cousin, with whom he engaged in a passionate, platonic relationship despite his equal passion for men, and Trevor Howard as famed composer Richard Wagner, who took advantage of the king’s patronage to advance his own career. Originally released in a three-hour version and later expanded to four hours for television broadcast, this condensed version offers a more concise portrayal of the king’s notorious exploits.

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Remembering Romy

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Luchino Visconti, Architect of Neorealism

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Devour the Land: Cinema, landscape, history.