Ludwig. He loved women. He loved men. He lived as controversially as he ruled. But he did not care what the world thought. He was the world. 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 FrÃ¶be (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 and features the English-language soundtrack for the first ever on home video. SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS: 2K restoration from the original film negative High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations Two viewing options: the full-length theatrical cut or as five individual parts Original Italian soundtrack with optional English subtitles Original English soundtrack available on home video for the first time ever with optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing Brand-new interview with actor Helmut Berger Luchino Visconti, an hour-long documentary portrait of the director by Carlo Lizzani (Wake Up and Kill, Requiescant) containing interviews with Burt Lancaster, Vittorio Gassman, Francesco Rosi, Claudia Cardinale and others Speaking with Suso Cecchi d'Amico, an interview with the screenwriter Silvana Mangano: The Scent Of A Primrose, a half-hour portrait of the actress Theatrical trailer FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet containing new writing by Peter Cowie [show more]
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Visconti's lavish portrait of Ludwig II, the 'Mad King' of Bavaria. From his glittering coronation to his mysterious suicide, Ludwig II (Helmut Berger) epitomised the doomed nineteenth-century Romantic hero. A loner by nature, he was tormented by his unrequited love for his cousin, Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Romy Schneider), who sensed his true sexual nature and fragile grip on reality. But as war raged around him, Ludwig's sole obsession remained the visionary music of Richard Wagner (Trevor Howard), and he retreated more and more into a fantasy world, alarming his ministers through his irrational behaviour, neglect of state affairs and lavish expenditure on several fairytale castles. Judged unfit to rule, Ludwig was eventually declared insane.