A huge panorama of Richard Wagner's life and work, from before the 1848 revolution, through his exile in Switzerland, his rescue by the besotted King Ludwig II of Bavaria, to the final ... See full summary »
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Episodes

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Years



1  
1984   1983   1981  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Richard Burton ...  Richard Wagner 10 episodes, 1981-1984
Vanessa Redgrave ...  Cosima von Bulow 9 episodes, 1981-1984
László Gálffi ...  King Ludwig II of Bavaria / ... 9 episodes, 1981-1984
John Gielgud ...  Pfistermeister 9 episodes, 1981-1984
Miguel Herz-Kestranek Miguel Herz-Kestranek ...  Hans von Bülow 8 episodes, 1981-1984
Gyula Benkö ...  Narrator 8 episodes, 1981-1984
Gemma Craven ...  Minna / ... 7 episodes, 1981-1984
Ralph Richardson ...  Pfordten 6 episodes, 1983-1984
Richard Pasco Richard Pasco ...  Otto Wesendonck 5 episodes, 1981-1983
Laurence Olivier ...  Pfeuffer 5 episodes, 1983-1984
Ronald Pickup ...  Nietzsche / ... 5 episodes, 1983-1984
Andrew Cruickshank Andrew Cruickshank ...  Narrator / ... 5 episodes, 1981-1983
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Storyline

A huge panorama of Richard Wagner's life and work, from before the 1848 revolution, through his exile in Switzerland, his rescue by the besotted King Ludwig II of Bavaria, to the final triumph at Bayreuth. Richard Wagner's radical musical and political ideas, his German nationalism, and even his anti-Semitism are set in the context of his life and times. Written by Adrian Thorpe <acthorpe@epic.net>

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Details

Country:

UK | Austria | Hungary

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Wagner - Das Leben und Werk Richard Wagners See more »

Filming Locations:

Lucerne, Switzerland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored integral)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Burton received poor reviews for the early scenes, since at fifty-six-years-old, he was clearly much too old to play Wagner as a young man. See more »

Goofs

When Wagner speaks at the political meeting, the vertical German flags in the background have the wrong sequence of black-gold-red, while the ones draping the podium are the correct black-red-gold ones. (The flags are the 1832 Hambach Festival flag - the modern German flag dating from 1848 was developed from the Hambach colours) See more »

Alternate Versions

A feature-length 466-minute director's cut was released on DVD in 2011. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Magnificent
2 September 2011 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

I saw Wagner as I am a big classical music and opera fan and I love Richard Wagner's music, especially Wotan's Farewell from Die Walkure, Overture to Tannhauser and Prelude to Act 1 and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde.

Wagner is just magnificent, and one of my favourite series or anything to do with composers. For one thing, I found the story presented well structured and interesting, although I knew a good deal about Wagner beforehand, there was stuff here that I didn't know and found it presented in an insightful way.

Wagner is also very authentic in its look and the atmosphere it creates. Watching it I actually felt I was there, and the period recreation, costumes, settings and photography are not only gorgeous but very vivid too.

The music is outstanding, and this is really a brilliantly written programme, thoughtful, brooding and also quite moving. The acting is across the board faultless with Richard Burton embodying the title role to magnificent effect and Vanessa Redgrave very effective. There are also great performances from Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Gemma Craven, Ronald Pickup, Ralph Richardson, Marthe Keller and Vernon Dobtchof.

And Andrew Cruishank's narration is the ideal icing on the cake. Overall, Wagner is simply magnificent. Massive? Yes. Worth watching? Absolutely yes. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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