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A string of masterpieces behind him – including Ossessione, Senso, The Leopard and Death in Venice – the great Italian director Luchino Visconti turned his attentions to the life and death of King Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1972, resulting in an epic of 19th-century decadence.
Dominated by Helmut Berger (The Damned, The Bloodstained Butterfly) in the title role, Ludwig nevertheless manages to find room for an impressive cast list: Romy Schneider (reprising her Elisabeth of Austria characterisation from the Sissi trilogy), Silvana Mangano (Bitter Rice), Gert Fröbe (Goldfinger), John Moulder-Brown (Deep End) and Trevor Howard (Brief Encounter) as Richard Wagner.
As opulent as any of Visconti’s epics – Piero Tosi’s costume design was nominated for an Academy Award – Ludwig is presented here in its complete form in accordance with the director’s wishes.
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