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Palmer's 5-hour biopic of Wagner (nine hours in the TV version) is a long haul for anyone: sumptuous, overblown, lumbering, and riddled with narrative non sequiturs. The strangest aspect is that the music often seems peripheral rather than central, relegated to being film music as though we might as well be watching a biopic about Ennio Morricone. The visuals are splendid and you can play spot the cast, but somehow it's all a bit sub-Ken Russell, without the redeeming vulgarity and with a lot less cinematic energy.

By: SM

Release details

Duration: 300 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Tony Palmer
Screenwriter: Charles Wood
Cast: Richard Burton
Vanessa Redgrave
Gemma Craven
László Gálffi
John Gielgud
Ralph Richardson
Laurence Olivier
Ronald Pickup
Joan Plowright
Arthur Lowe
Franco Nero
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