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  • Song Without End [DVD] [1960]
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Song Without End [DVD] [1960]

Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Song Without End [DVD] [1960] + A Song To Remember (Region 2 & 4) [DVD] [1945] + The Glass Mountain [1949] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Dirk Bogarde, Capucine, Genevieve Page, Patricia Morrison, Ivan Desny
  • Directors: Charles Vidor, George Cukor
  • Producers: William Goetz
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Aug. 2013
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,377 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


This lush bio-pic of the brilliant composer and piano virtuoso Franz Liszt (Dirk Bogarde) depicts the great conflicts in his young life. Liszt has begun to tire of the oppressive demands of his current mistress, Countess Marie (Genevieve Page), who has given up her own life and young children to live with him despite a great scandal. Liszt prefers to flee to the adoration of the crowds and the concert stage, where he captures the attention of another adoring woman, the beautiful Russian princess, Carolyne (Capucine). Carolyne encourages Liszt to go into a sort of exile, so he can focus on his composition, while she awaits her divorce. Despite her great love for the composer, he is torn between his carnal passions, his religious devotion, and the demands of his artistry. The last film directed by Charles Vidor (who died before its completion, replaced by George Cukor) is a gorgeous spectacle photographed by the famed cinematographer James Wong Howe.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Directed mostly by the uncredited George Cukor, following the death halfway through filming of Charles Vidor, `Song Without End' was a result of Dirk Bogarde's brief flirtation with Hollywood. But before shooting began, Bogarde had to learn to play a dummy keyboard and learn over eighty minutes of music, for which he rightly received some praise. And indeed his piano playing is often very convincing. (It's a shame he had no matching conducting lessons; his attempt to conduct the orchestra in Weimar are ridiculously bad.)

Often subtitled `The Franz Liszt Story', it follows the life of the composer from the late 1830s in Chamonix, where he lives with the Countess d'Agoult (Genevieve Page). Here he is visited by Chopin, Georges Sand, and his manager who relate to him that the pianist Thalberg is all the rage in Paris, where Liszt only recently reigned supreme. Thus the composer takes to the European road again, touring Austria, Hungary, and Russia and ending up at the court of Weimar. The film ends with the Vatican's refusal in 1861 to sanction his marriage to Princess Seyn-Wittgenstein, played by Capucine. Liszt seeks sanctuary in a monastery.

I do not know enough about Liszt to vouch for the historical veracity of this film, but the lack of any jokes about it in the vein of `History according to Hollywood' seems to indicate that it follows closely real events. If at times it seems laughable, the film is also entertaining. It also has an energy that allows for no longueurs. All actors give good performances, although the occasional American accent can be off-putting.

This was Capucine's first major film. It was shot half on location in Vienna, Bayreuth and Munich, and half in a Hollywood studio.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Israel Iskowitz on 9 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are prepared to forget that this is supposed to portray the life of Franz Liszt, you might enjoy this film. Liszt, by all accounts, was the most affable of men but Dirk Bogarde portrays him as having the sort of irascible temper that would make those around him feel as if they were treading on eggshells. The film, as one might expect, deals mainly with his romantic entanglements and deals only superficially with his important relationship with other composers like Chopin and Wagner.
The musical soundtrack, with solos played by Jorge Bolet (very well "mimed" by Bogarde, by the way) is enjoyable and the sets are often gorgeous to look at...or, rather, they would be if the print quality wasn't so poor.
Another reviewer has mentioned that he was unable to view the film without subtitles appearing; the menu is, indeed, rather confusing but on a second playing by just entering "Play film" I got it to do just that...maybe it was just a fluke! In any case I much enjoyed following the English subtitles as they appear to have been done by somebody who is not a native English speaker and who has tried to make sense of what they hear on the soundtrack and has produced some real howlers as a result. Thus, "He has seduced married women" becomes "He has seduced Marie Bennie", "Attain in a monastery" is rendered as "Attend in a month" while the "Monsignor" is addressed, according to the subtitles, as "Mong signore." Proper names and places give the subtitler particular trouble. I had no idea that a composer called Wagnew wrote an opera called Kienzi, nor that "Odessa" is also known as "Versailles." Weimar is invariably rendered as "Veuvon" and Liszt's patron Maria Pavlova becomes Maria Poplook! When I tell you that the above is just a small sample of the subtitler's ingenuity you will realise that this issue is worth obtaining in order to enjoy it as an hilarious comedy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By FAMOUS NAME VINE VOICE on 19 Oct. 2008
Format: DVD
A movie more than two hours long about the life of a Musician/Composer, what you might expect is a film, though full of good music, would bore the knobs off your TV Set - be prepared to be pleasantly surprised if you haven't seen this!

This is one of the greatest movies to kick off the sixties - considering it has not been so well-acclaimed when it was made as a big feature for the ever popular Dirk Bogarde, and has gone almost unnoticed with regards to any of his back catalogue of DVD releases - this title being of extremely limited availability.

Ironically, the movie does not turn out so much a memorable vehicle for Bogarde, but this has nothing to do with him as an actor or his performance, but this is a picture full of extremely great performances - but all by women! Without these, the film may well have failed... Almost every scene without any of these great actresses (the few that there are - and I adore men) have almost an 'insignificance' to the sheer gems that are the rest of the movie, and the Viewer is eagerly awaiting the entrance of any of the female characters. Tremendously strong performances from all the ladies here - in particular, Genevieve Page, but more notably that of Capucine (whose enchanting beautiful looks and enigmatic performance has a good chance of turning some gay men straight!) who turns some scenes into pure show-stoppers - and without music! The only other actress in my opinion that could have played the part of 'Princess Carolyne' would have probably been Ann Lynn; another great actress who has the same beautiful and enigmatic looks of Capucine - and with a similar striking acting style to her profession.

The two hours simply fly by, and the music as expected is wonderful, but it's more than just about the music; this movie has a good and strong story, and unusual for 1960, has been filmed in glorious colour!

Worth its weight in gold!
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