Dire adaptation of Thomas Mann's novella, which turns the writer of the original into a composer, simply so that Visconti can flood his luscious, soft-focus images of Venice with the sombre sounds of Mahler, thus attempting to give a heartfelt emotional core to the hollow goings-on. Bogarde is more than a little mannered as the ageing man whose obsession with a beautiful young boy staying at the same hotel (Andresen in sailor-suit and blond locks) leads him to outstay his welcome. Everything is slowed down to a funereal (some might claim magisterial) pace, Mann's metaphysical musings on art and beauty are jettisoned in favour of pathetic scenes of runny mascara, and the whole thing is so overblown as to become entirely risible.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Luchino Visconti, Nicola Badalucco|