Sunday, 15 December 2019


The 1975 cult film by Ken Russell, a kiss-and-tell style biopic loosely based on the 1848 book by Marie d’Agoult’s sordid love affair with the composer, was self-styled as out-Tommying Tommy, the soundtrack vehicle released earlier in the same year starring Roger Daltrey as the Pin Ball Wizard, strikes us as something of a cross between Amadeus and Barbarella and was the first movie screened with Dolby Stereo Surround Sound.
Taking its title from the observation of author Heinrich Heine of the overwhelming, swooning adoration that the public had for the virtuoso performances, Lisztomanie, Daltrey portrayed the main character as a charismatic and compelling rock-star and features the music of the prog-rock band Yes (rather than The Who) adapting samples from compositions by Liszt, Mahler and Wagner in the film’s score. Though critical reception was generally not positive and it was not the movie that Russell wanted to make, his druthers being for a picture on the life of George Gershwin starring Al Pacino or at least a project featuring Mick Jagger as the Hungarian composer, the concept is worth entertaining and reflecting on what its legacy might have been. Much more to explore, including several more posters and lobby cards with Dangerous Minds at the link up top.