Ken Russell's film about the composer Gustav Mahler

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Robert Powell — Gustav Mahler

Georgina Hale — Alma Mahler

Lee Montague — Bernhard Mahler

Miriam Karlin — Aunt Rosa

Rosalie Crutchley — Marie Mahler

Gary Rich — Young Gustav

Richard Morant — Max

Angela Down — Justine Mahler

Antonia Ellis — Cosima Wagner

Ronald Pickup — Nick

Peter Eyre — Otto Mahler

Dana Gillespie — Anna von Mildenburg

George Coulouris — Doctor Roth

David Collings — Hugo Wolf

Arnold Yarrow — Grandfather

David Trevena — Doctor Richter

Elaine Delmar — Princess

Benny Lee — Uncle Arnold

Program notes

Nominated at Cannes for the Palme d'Or in 1974, Mahler is unquestionably one of Ken Russell's most beautiful movies.

The story takes place in 1911, shedding light on the last days of Gustav Mahler. Mahler was fifty when he conducted his last concert at the New York Philharmonic, of which he had been the musical director since 1909. When he was composing his Tenth Symphony, he fell seriously ill. Extremely weakned, he came back to Paris to get treatment, before passing away on May 18, 1911.

In Mahler, Ken Russell uses a lot of flashbacks, showing a poor child suffering from his father's anger; a young musician frustrated by antisemetism and about to convert to catholicism; a husband tough with his wife whom he cherishes a lot; and a caring and loving father devastated by the death of his daughter.

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