Dir.: Luchino Visconti, Italy, France, Germany, 1973/1980, 283 min.
“Ludwig” is an opulent biopic about the legendary King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845-1886) who not only showed a deep interest in music and opera but also maintained a friendship with artists like Richard Wagner.
The film follows the tumultuous life of the king from his coronation in 1864 until his death in 1886, exploring his relationship to the inspiring but indebted composer Richard Wagner who has settled in Munich at Ludwig's request.
Directed by Italian director Luchino Visconti, starring Helmut Berger (Ludwig), Romy Schneider (Elisabeth) and Trevor Howard (Richard Wagner), the film premiered in 1973 in a shortened version without Visconti’s consent as the third part of Visconti’s “German Trilogy” which included "The Damned" (1969) and "Death in Venice" (1971). The Director’s cut which is shown in this screening premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 1980.