Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Lisztomania (1975)

Lisztomania (1975)

With The Devils (1971) and Tommy (1975), Ken Russell created a very powerful style that intimidated producers and divided the critics. However, he came a cropper with this ugly, migraine-inducing and mind-numbing bore.

Franz Liszt is here portrayed as a rock star, 1840-style, by Roger Daltrey of The Who. The shaggy-maned idol rips into his songs and the audience screams with excitement. Some ecstatic fans storm the stage, wanting simply to touch him. Some want to bear his child. One adoring woman announces she already has.

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Paul Nicholas plays Richard Wagner (pictured above), while Ringo Starr is a natural as the Pope.

The result is a wild, kaleidoscopic romp, full of sexual symbolism, Carry On humour and Hammer horror send-ups – an epic of self-loathing, self-parody and self-destruction.

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Franz Liszt
Roger Daltrey 
Princess Carolyn

Sara Kestelman
Richard Wagner

Paul Nicholas
Countess Marie d’Agoult

Fiona Lewis 
Cosima

Veronica Quilligan
Olga Janina

Nell Campbell 
Hans Von Bulow

Andrew Reilly
The Pope

Ringo Starr
Count d’Agoult

John Justin 
Lola Montez

Anulka Dziubinska
George Sand

Imogen Claire 
Thor

Rick Wakeman
Captain

David English
Daniel

David Corti
Blondine

Lucy Willers
Governess

Felicity Devonshire 
Hector Berlioz

Murray Melvin 
Strauss

Andrew Faulds
Rossini

Ken Parry 
Frederic Chopin 

Ken Colley
Felix Mendelsohn

Otto Diamant

Director
Ken Russell