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Lisztomania


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Product Details

  • Actors: Roger Daltrey, Sara Kestelman, Paul Nicholas, Ringo Starr, Rick Wakeman
  • Directors: Ken Russell
  • Format: NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JPIJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,744 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lisztomania" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 15, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
I had the rare and unexpected pleasure of seeing this film in a theater in college and, fortunately not while on drugs. Knowledge of (classical) music history, particularily from the late Romantic period (and if you know about Franz Liszt's life, all the better) helps one to appreciate all the little "in-jokes." An appreciation of mid-70's "stadium-rock" culture also helps. Casting Roger Daltrey as Liszt seems about perfect as he adds that modern rock-star's charm to the salacious fellow.
It certainly takes liberties with interpretation of historic events (as Russell's "biographies" tend to do) but there is a lot of outrageous humor. Witness the scene when exiled in the Countessa's castle, Liszt has this fantasy sequence where she comes riding in on top of a 10-foot penis. Bizarre as it may seem, it's not entirely unrealistic; Liszt was a known philanderer and let's face it, he loved the ladies and they adored him. Wagner, who spends the whole film chasing Liszt down, emerges at the end of the film as a proto-Nitzschean-cum-Nazi-Hitler "ubermensch." It's bizarre, and I guess you'd have to understand the Wagner-Nitszche-Hitler connections. (Though meant as humor, some people, understandably, walked out of the film at this point. I was surprised that more didn't earlier but perhaps they sat at the back of the theater.) Wagner comes across as something of a juvenile wuss and, of course later marrys Liszt's daughter.
This is definitely not a film for a lot of people. Non-traditional or "deviant" classical music buffs would best appreciate this film... I have yet to see "Mahler" but I hear it is of the same vein.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By George Danochristos on March 26, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Indispensable, cult-status Ken Russel movie (not only for fans of The Who), that masterfully captures and subversively portrays on screen classical piano player/composer Frantz Liszt's personality: a legendary genious of a man whose life and times match that of a Rock star, 100 years before Rock was invented. If Glenn Gould is the flamboyant 20th century classical piano player that rocked an establishment, just watch this movie to compare the original Master on his heyday.

Unfortunatelly however, VHS does not deliver. The movie should've long ago been digitally transfered on DVD. Don't get mislead by Amazon referring to this product as DVD 1992 release, it's default listing manner. If you look closely by the picture it's actually VHS edition only. True, Warner still persist not to release it on DVD, obviously they don't expect a blockbuster out of it. Guess we'll have to wait for Criterion Collection to salvage it. 4* for the movie, 0* for Warner.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anna Shlimovich on November 5, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
There are many long reviews here analyzing every detail of this film. I will only say that it does become too phantasmagoric and even in its deliberate excess and offensiveness the measure of good taste is a bit lost. I do think that it's great and entertaining that some scenes are shocking, but when the shots become too fixated on the same thing, it feels like a great joke that is being told too many times - it looses its zest. To me, Mahler was a better one in terms of being better balanced. This picture is still a good entertainment, though.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul Ess. on May 17, 2009
Format: DVD
As some-one who is given to regularly reviewing the works of Ken Russell (against my better judgement), a completely (often deliberately) misunderstood and unjustly derided film-maker, you eventually reach some kind of review-brick-wall. A point from which it's impossible to progress any further. Enter 'Lisztomania.'

'Lisztomania' is Russell's MOST misunderstood and MOST unjustly derided motion picture. I'll bet much filthy lucre he laughed like a drain while he shot it.
If ever a film, jam packed with fabulously garish and disrespectful visuals, was designed and clinically executed with the sole purpose of goading pompous, humourless, over-reverential critics - 'Lisztomania' is definitely it.

Where else can you see iconic composer Richard Wagner grow a pair of vampire fangs...make an Aryan monster (Thor - played by overblown organ-obsessive Rick Wakeman!)...stage a thoroughly nightmarish 'Rape of the Rhine Maidens' with the perpetrator sporting a Star of David tattoo (on his forehead!!)...teach innocent little kiddies anti-Semitic rock songs about 'Teutonic Godheads'...die...then return from the grave as a Hitler moustached Frankenstein's monster, firing an enormous guitar/machine gun at a spaceship full of his and Franz Liszt's ex-lovers, who are trying to bomb him ?

You can't...
Only (and much, much more) in 'Lisztomania'.
See Ringo Starr as the Pope: "Raped at gunpoint?....well it happens to the best of us my son.
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