7.0/10
2,162
31 user 26 critic

Mahler (1974)

Composer Gustav Mahler's life, told in a series of flashbacks as he and his wife discuss their failing marriage during a train journey.

Director:

Ken Russell

Writer:

Ken Russell
Reviews
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Powell ... Gustav Mahler
Georgina Hale ... Alma Mahler
Lee Montague ... Bernhard Mahler
Miriam Karlin ... Aunt Rosa
Rosalie Crutchley ... Marie Mahler
Gary Rich Gary Rich ... Young Mahler
Richard Morant ... Max
Angela Down Angela Down ... Justine Mahler
Antonia Ellis ... Cosima Wagner
Ronald Pickup ... Nick
Peter Eyre ... Otto Mahler
Dana Gillespie ... Anna von Mildenburg
George Coulouris ... Doctor Roth
David Collings ... Hugo Wolfe
Arnold Yarrow Arnold Yarrow ... Grandfather
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Storyline

Both trifles and structure are tossed out the door by director Ken Russell in this film. Here, historical content matters not so much as metaphors, feelings, emotions, and interpretations, and pay close attention, as every word and frame is intended to be important. The film takes place on a single train ride, in which the sickly composer Gustav Mahler and his wife, Alma, confront the reasons behind their faltered marriage and dying love. Each word seems to evoke memories of past, and so the audience witnesses events of Mahler's life that explain somewhat his present state. Included are his turbulent and dysfunctional family life as a child, his discovery of solace in the "natural" world, his brother's suicide, his [unwanted] conversion from Judiasm to Catholicism, his rocky marriage and the death of their young child. The movie weaves in and out of dreams, flashbacks, thoughts and reality as Russell poetically describes the man behind the music. Written by Jonathan Dakss <dakss@columbia.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Малер See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cameo: [Oliver Reed] a train conductor blowing a whistle as Mahler's train is about to pull out of the station. See more »

Goofs

When Mahler's train leaves St. Pölten, a sign is visible identifying the town as "Saint Pölten". Yet, the German long script for the town is "Sankt Pölten". See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Gustav Mahler: [reminded of some medications he should take] They won't be needed! We're going to live forever!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brows Held High: The Devils (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

O Du Lieber Augustine
(uncredited)
Traditional, also attributed to Marx Augustin
[Heard as a theme during the swimming scene]
See more »

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User Reviews

Boy oh Boy oh Boy
9 July 2003 | by jbelsSee all my reviews

This movie, while beautifully shot, grows completely out of control as is moves along. The once over of Gustav Mahler by Ken Russell falls into the trap that all the other Russell films do--over excess. The shot of Mahler biting into a pig snout is one of the most disgusting and offensive images I have ever seen.


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