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The Music Lovers [Import]

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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5 used from CDN$ 25.87


Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Chamberlain, Glenda Jackson, Max Adrian, Christopher Gable
  • Directors: Ken Russell
  • Writers: Melvyn Bragg
  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: MGM/UA
  • VHS Release Date: Jan. 27 1993
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 630218021X
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Product Description

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Furious, violently bombastic, terribly unsettling, Ken Russell's 1970 biography of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (Richard Chamberlain) is a portrait of artistic brilliance beset by the Russian composer's mounting guilt over, well, everything: his homosexuality, his marriage to the increasingly miserable and mad Nina (Glenda Jackson), his hidden attraction to Count Anton Chiluvsky (Christopher Gable), and his suggestively incestuous relations with a sister while growing up. Consumed by his art to the point of explosiveness, Tchaikovsky has increasing difficulty coping with his life, finding some solace in the distant love proffered by his rich patroness (who refuses to meet him but communicates her feelings through letters). Russell intends the film to be a bumpy and harsh ride that descends into grotesque tragedy as Nina is confined to a monstrous asylum and Tchaikovsky becomes ill. Still, there are a few of the usual pop-surreal sequences of which the director is so fond, most memorably a loony visual accompaniment for the 1812 Overture. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a welcome and overdue dvd of a controversial biography of Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. I saw this film at the cinema at the time of its initial release in 1971 and never forgot the elaborate stagings and brilliant colour photography. The story follows with general accuracy the life and accomplishments of this great composer as well as the many people in his life who influenced him for good or for ill. I believe this film to be one of the very best by director Ken Russell. He directs the film in a surrealistic style that may have perplexed many initial viewers but I think these sometimes "over the top" scenes express within the the cinema form, the passions and the drives which create lasting art.
This dvd retains the beautiful colour and sets that I remember. Richard Chamberlain and Glenda Jackson project their characters brilliantly and the other cast members work well together. I would have given five stars but was disappointed at the lack of subtitles or closed captioning. A short program giving some background would also have enhanced this dvd.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Well acted by Glenda Jackson and Richard Chamberfain, but the story line is a little bizarre! It probably resembles the composer's life closely, which was tragic, but the whole movie just didn't do justice to Tchaikovsky's genious and his immesurable contribution to the world of classical music
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Format: VHS Tape
Ken Russell is one of the most underrated directors in cinema, and although his later output does not reflect the great potential he possesses, it is his earlier films that showcased his true talents in their unique and controversial style.
Russell was instrumental, along with directors like Lindsay Anderson and Nic Roeg,in giving British cinema its own more subtle version of 'nouvelle vague' in the early 70s.
His great passion for literature and classical music was a constant source of inspiration,from his adaptation of D.H Lawrence's 'Women in Love' his most acclaimed film to date, to his biographies of Elgar,Liszt, Mahler and Tchaikovsky.
The British film establishment along with almost all critics liked nothing better than to dismiss Russell and his films as pompous and over indulgent.Micheal Winner has always had his share of these snide reviews and remarks, but although he is a remarkable socialite and bon vivant, his direction talents can not be compared to Russell's at all ,thus making the cold shoulder the latter received totally unjustified.
Music Lovers, was one of the first films I ever saw, and it was largely responsible for two main developments in my life,
my love and appreciation of classical music on one hand, and a passion for cinema that remains as strong and vibrant to this day on the other.
It is a biography of this greatest of composers,Tchaikovsky, like nothing you are likely to see..Amadeus was majestic and grand..Beethoven's Immortal Beloved was too polished...Russell in Music Lovers gives us a biography that is troubled, anxious, raw and unashamedly personal.
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Format: VHS Tape
As you plunge headlong into ANY Ken Russell film, know this: It's strictly a "love 'em or hate 'em" scenario. If you already hate Ken Russell's, shall we say-- unique aesthetic, you'll find this movie repulsive, offensive and unredeemable. However, if you are open to Russell's cinematic approach, you will find this film at turns outrageously hilarious, exhilarating and quite the sensual feast. "The Music Lovers" is one of Russell's most visually beautiful efforts, at times recalling Stanley Kubrick's painterly "Barry Lyndon". There is nothing as genteel about the script or characterizations, however! Richard Chamberlain and Glenda Jackson both give their most fearless performances portraying the "Sid and Nancy" of the classical composer era. Not only does Russell make history "come alive", he reaches out of the screen and gives you a Three Stooges eye poke with his baton for good measure! Jolly good fun for open minds, classical music snobs need not apply.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is probably Ken Russell's best film after "Women In Love." It is truly unfortunate that only a pan-and-scan video is available; the brilliant opening "Winter Carnival" sequence, which introduces all the main characters - AND establishes their relationships, without a word of dialogue! - is particularly damaged by the cropped aspect ratio. Chamberlain was never better, and still in his physical prime, and Jackson is briliant as always. This is worth the price just for the drunken honeymoon train-ride scene. Why in God's name this isn't on DVD is beyond me- Chamberlain's fans alone would put this one in the black! Hellooo MGM, WB or whoever owns this title now, we're waiting for a widescreen transfer!
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Format: VHS Tape
No film critics seem to like THE MUSIC LOVERS, and Cinebook even scored this film 'zero', claiming that this film should be avoided by all 'music lovers'. The film's focus on Tchaikovsky's homosexuality has always been considered inappropriate. While Cinebook scored 5 stars to AMADEUS which places emphasis on Mozart's impudent and vulgar character, I think it should be fairer to this film. THE MUSIC LOVERS is not up to Ken Russell's other masterpieces like WOMEN IN LOVE, but in terms of film-making, this is a marvellous film. In the film's opening, Tchaikovsky (Richard Chamberlain), playing wildly with his sleigh, has a brief encounter with Antonina Milyukova (Glenda Jackson), later his wife. This opening is simply as witty as David Lean's DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, where Omar Sharif has a brief encounter with Julie Christie on a tram in the beginning, not realizing at that time that this is the woman who will become part of his life. Indeed, this is how THE MUSIC LOVERS brings these two important characters together, Nina attending Tchaikovsky's concert, imagining herself having a good time with the soldier she loves, who later turns out to be an abuser. In Nina's imagination and with the 2nd symphony as the background music, Tchaikovsky shoot the soldier dead in a duel for Nina, and the two embrace. Audience will learn that this is Tchaikovsky's fantasy too, resulting in their marriage, which soon becomes disastrous. Throughout the film, Tchaikovsky's music is combined with perfect editing. His 6th symphony is used in the scene on a train, where Nina gets drunk and takes off all her clothes while Tchaikovsky feels sick as he sees Nina's breasts and vagina. The montage here alternating between Tchaikovsky's face of agony and Nina's body is simply perfect.Read more ›
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