Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Magic Fire 1955

https://youtu.be/uFCfRJ9_xL8 This is a biopic on the life of Richard Wagner, played admirably well by Alan Badel. It was made in 1955 by Republic Pictures. Herbert Yates was the studio chief then. It was directed by William Deieterle. For all Wagner enthusiasts, this is a fine film that makes good use of Wagner's music. The actual film music was arranged by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The film was processed in Trucolor as the other collaboration of Dieterle and Korngold, a Midsummer Night's Dream. Many details and accounts of the life of Richard Wagner were portrayed accurately and some of the accounts were stretched out for dramatic purposes. One of the highest points of this film is the accurate presentation of the riot among the elite at the Opera House in Paris during the Second Act of Tannhauser in its revised version with the Bacchanale and inclusion of ballet. Wagner did not heed to the advice of introducing the ballet in the second act as per the demands of the rich patrons; he kept it instead in the very beginning of the First Act, right after the fabulous overture. The film also correctly brings out the patronage of King Ludwig II in Wagner's life, without going too much into the intricate details of the controversial personality of that king. You will come across lavish sets, brilliant costumes and a large cast that includes the beautiful Yvonne De Carlo as Minna Planer, Wagner's First wife.Rita Gam plays Cosima, Liszt's daughter and Wagner's second wife while Carlos Thompson supports well as Franz Liszt. There are few scenes inducted in the film showing Weimar. This is a prestigious film and serves as a great biographical document for Richard Wagner.

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