Ludwig

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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Time Out says

Interested only in Ludwig of Bavaria as a neurotic individual, Visconti centres everything on the king's fears, sublimations and fantasies. He therefore produces a loving, uncritical portrait of a mad homosexual recluse, whose passions are opera, fairy-tale castles, and exquisite young men. Nothing is more sumptuous than Helmut Berger's performance in the lead, the brooding mad scenes, the deliberately contrived hysterical outbursts, and it takes only a flicker of scepticism to find the whole charade risible. But suspension of disbelief has its own rewards: Visconti's connoisseurship of historical detail and manners is as acute as ever, and his commitment to his subject is total. The film was originally released in cut versions ranging between 186 and 137 minutes; this uncut one, obviously more coherent, simply doubles the interest/boredom rate.

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Giuseppe Paolo Mazzarello

THE UTOPIA OF A KING Ludwig II becomes king of Bavaria with a dream. He would like to render a service to his subjects. He would like to offer them the beauties of art. The thing is not impossible at all, but it depends on the circumstances. At that time in Bavaria the circumstances are not favourables. There is a war to do, there is a prime minister who would like to take the king's powerful. The king's mother does not trust her son and thinks he is impotent. The king's sweetheart prefers to stay with her husband Francis Joseph of Hapsburg. Ludwig builds castles and theaters; enjoys the Wagner's music. Then he prefers his footmen's company and withdraws from the world. His subjects continue to love their king, as well as Visconti who directed this sumptuous but too long movie.

Giuseppe Paolo Mazzarello

THE UTOPIA OF A KING Ludwig II becomes king of Bavaria with a dream. He would like to render a service to his subjects. He would like to offer them the beauties of art. The thing is not impossible at all, but it depends on the circumstances. At that time in Bavaria the circumstances are not favourables. There is a war to do, there is a prime minister who would like to take the king's powerful. The king's mother does not trust her son and thinks he is impotent. The king's sweetheart prefers to stay with her husband Francis Joseph of Hapsburg. Ludwig builds castles and theaters; enjoys the Wagner's music. Then he prefers his footmen's company and withdraws from the world. His subjects continue to love their king, as well as Visconti who directed this sumptuous but too long movie.