|A film about sacrifice and creativity. It
starts with a dream sequence which is Russell at his best and most
train journey provides a rite of passage. Mahler
remembers episodes from his life, and on the
train itself he confronts jubilant crowds
(success), the gutter press (sensationalism), his
wife's lovers (infidelity), and the doctor
A beautiful film mixing true emotion, the
death of Mahler's children, with dancing Nazis.
At times Powell seems to be influenced by Dirk
Bogard from Death in Venice with the similarities going
beyond the direct homage included in the film.
The domestic sequences of Mahler as a child
are similar to those in Savage Messiah.
The film cost just over 150,000 pounds and was
shot in seven weeks. The American version was shortened by 30
minutes, mainly by removing the Cosima Wagner sequence.