Bavaria (Germany) -- History -- Ludwig II, 1864-1886 -- Drama, Homosexuality -- Drama, Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, 1845-1886 -- Drama, Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883 -- Drama


(Le crépuscule des dieux)

Imported 35mm Print


Helmut Berger, Romy Schneider, Trevor Howard, Silvana Mangano,

In the life of Ludwig II, the “mad king” of Bavaria, Visconti found a fit subject for his own transcendent sense of spectacle. Ludwig was a tragic figure who made an art out of life itself: born into extreme wealth, he chose to pursue happiness in the realm of the sublime—in art and matters of the heart—but he never achieved anything close to happiness. Nor did his soul “fly free” of his body. He built magnificent fairytale castles in the Bavarian sky and patronized a series of artists, including Richard Wagner, who used him cynically. Increasingly disillusioned, the “Swan King” grew dissolute, sealing his doom. Visconti places Ludwig, portrayed by Helmut Berger, in context, seducing us with opulent visuals, holding us at bay with the passion play that was Ludwig’s life. Romy Schneider is a figure of compassion amid scoundrels as Ludwig’s cousin, the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, and Trevor Howard lends his own dark passion to his portrayal of Richard Wagner.

  • Luchino Visconti
  • Enrico Medioli
  • Suso Cecchi D'Amico
  • Armando Nannuzzi
  • Italian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 238 mins
  • Cinecittà
  • American Genre Film Archive

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View Ludwig documents  

Luchino Visconti: maestro of the movies (program note), Brooklyn Museum, 1992

[Ludwig] (review), Village Voice, J. Hoberman, 1988

Revival of 'Ludwig II' paces Paris' Garick Films (article), Variety, Lenny Borger, 1983

U.S. premiere of Visconti's epic Ludwig to be held at the Museum of Modern Art November 3 (press release), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1983

[Ludwig] (review), The Listener, 1978

[Ludwig] (article), 1973

[Ludwig] (review), 1973

Ludwig (review), Variety, A. D. Murphy, 1973

Ludwig (review), Films In Review, C.P.R., 1973

Ludwig (program note), London Film Festival

Displaying 10 of 11 publicly available documents.

View all Ludwig documentation on CineFiles.