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Amazingly, director Ken Russell does not attempt to stuff Mahler full of the deliberate anachronisms (save, perhaps, for all those references to Nazis) and anti-establishment proselytizing which distinguished the director's earlier musical biopics. Instead, this is a relatively reverent study of the life and work of Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, here played by Robert Powell. The film tackles the touchy dilemma of Mahler's Jewishness in the anti-Semitic atmosphere of 19th-century Vienna. He converts to Christianity, which has no effect on his brilliant musical output but which eats… More

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This is filmmaking -- and filmmaking of a kind we've rarely seen."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Though the film like Mahler's music is clearly not for everyone it, nevertheless, rises in a crescendo of brilliant spectacle to overwhelm the usual timid biopic."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"MAHLER's preponderance with visuals reminds us that Russell is more of a technical director than an actor's director"
‑ Shane Burridge,
More reviews for Mahler on Rotten Tomatoes