“Ludwig” gets a release that almost mirrors the “Fanny & Alexander” release from Criterion. For the younger readers, massive European mini-series were usually cut together as lengthy Arthouse epics in America. This release presents both cuts in the best way possible. There are some disc splits, but it keeps the A/V Quality quite sharp. So, what about the film? Why don’t young film snobs know much about this film?
Well, because it doesn’t have that grand of a legacy. It’s visually stunning costume drama porn, but nothing happens. Visconti paints a portrait of a sullen Royal who lives indoors and only ventures out for moonlight romps when the mood strikes him. Ludwig is sheltered in every sense of the word. As he ages, it becomes revealed that this might not be a bad thing as very few people can reach him. But, still he turns everyone and everything into a playground to suit his whims. This one won’t play for all audiences.
- 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
- 2.39:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 1.0 mono
RELEASE DATE: 4/11/17
- Video - 94%94%
- Audio - 94%94%
- Supplemental Material - 95%95%
- Film Score - 96%96%
The Plot Thus Far
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 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 and features the English-language soundtrack for the first ever on home video.
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