The Music Lovers
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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is given the Ken Russell treatment in The Music Lovers, which means that there is plenty of music, plenty of passion, plenty of debauchery, and plenty of excess. Tame by Russell's later standards (Lisztomania), The Music Lovers nevertheless thrives on creative and sexual anguish. Richard Chamberlain plays Tchaikovsky with a bug-eyed intensity as a composer consumed by his art -- so consumed that his romantic attachments become bisexual and irrational. He falls in love with Nina (Glenda Jackson), the hysterical trollop he marries with dire consequences. As he… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Whole stretches of images seem pushed and pulled along before our eyes by projected desires and anxieties."
‑ Nicolas Rapold, Village Voice
"Chamberlain gives a surprisingly good performance."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The picture all too readily settles for the prototype of Russell's anguished-artist aberrations, with the crassness of his formative BBC biopics magnified into gargantuan flailing."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Totally irresponsible as a film about, or inspired by, or parallel to, or bearing a vague resemblance to, Tchaikovsky, his life and times. It is not, however, a complete failure."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Ken Russell's biopic of the legendary composer is distorted and excessive, but it's worth seeing."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Russell did something with this biopic about a composer that no one had done to this degree (and rarely at all): He let the music shape and drive the film itself."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"This Ken Russell fantasia-musical biography as wet dream-hangs together more successfully than his other similar efforts, thanks largely to a powerhouse performance by Glenda Jackson, one actress who can hold her own against Russell's excess."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"It's unashamedly vulgar and, if you switch off critical filters, enormous fun."
‑ Philip Kemp, Total Film
More reviews for The Music Lovers on Rotten Tomatoes