Although this one isn't in the imdb's top 50 music movies of all time [not officially categorized as a movie; rather a "TV Series"], it was greatly lauded in its day (a bit before OC's time...back in 1983), and clocks in at a tedious nine hours.
Tony Palmer’s "Wagner", written as a biographical landscape of the life and times of the self-titled nineteenth century composer, was recently resurrected from the broadcasting dead on Italy's Classica satellite channel ::vary nice:: The film epic was orchestrated with the “Greatest Hits” of Wagner’s career, played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Sir Georg Solti.
The original nine-hour epic bio-pic has been edited and abridged by Tony Palmer into a more manageable four-hour version, but every bit still packed with cameo appearances from classic Hollywood stars. Richard Burton, in one of his last performances ev4r, nails his presentation as Richard Wagner, making him every bit egotistical and haughty as legend had it. Vanessa Redgrave plays Cosima, with Wagner-patron Ludwig II's advisers played by John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier. Filmed in authentic locations around Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, the movie was awarded for its stunning and vivid production.
The whole production (or the brief hour that I was able to stomach) seemed a little too self-congratulatory, a wank-fest of German nationalism, with no true engagement of Wagner's rabid anti-Semitism, misogyny and general d0uchebaggery. What a kitschy, tragic mess. It’s ironic that a man who wrote such long-winded operas was treated justly to an interminable marathon of a motion picture. hay im the guy everyones ♥ ♥, im wanger, worrship meeeee!