Several months ago, I went to a lecture that compared the Beatles to classical composer Franz Liszt. It would seem that Mr. Liszt (b. 1811 – d. 1886) was the rock star of his day! In April 1844, while reviewing the European music scene that season, writer Heinrich Heine coined the term ‘Lisztomania‘ to describe the frenzy and fainting that occurred when Liszt performed.
I’ve always enjoyed the music of Franz Liszt and you’ve probably heard it yourself. Here is a video of Liebestraum:
Or, if you prefer, here is a video of Bugs Bunny playing Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody:
Lisztomania, was written and directed by Ken Russell, the same guy who had already directed The Who’s classic – Tommy. The posters for Lisztomania even promoted this movies as ‘Tommy’s Tommy‘! Unfortunately, even with Roger Daltrey as the star in this film too, this movie doesn’t even come close to the genius of Tommy and makes one think that Russell should have quit while he was ahead. Even Ringo Starr, who plays the part of The Pope and who had been praised for many of his previous acting roles is mediocre at best.
Both the acting and the music in this film are terrible. The only redeeming quality is seeing a naked, young Roger Daltrey! I can also say that all of Liszt’s women/lovers in the film actually existed in real life and that his daughter really married composer Richard Wagner. But where Ken Russell came up with idea to put Nazis and Hitler in the film…I’ll never understand. And for that reason…
I rate this movie, 1 out of 4 Beetles!
I rate Roger Daltrey’s naked boday, 4 out of 4 Beetles!