The troubled Ludwig, King of Bavaria, reigned from 1864 to 1886. Ludwig is a 1973 biographical film made by Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti about King Ludwig II of Bavaria’s life and death. Helmut Berger plays Ludwig, while Romy Schneider returns as Empress Elisabeth of Austria (from the unrelated 1955 film Sissi and its two sequels). In addition, Trevor Howard and Silvana Mangano play composer Richard Wagner and his eventual bride Cosima von Bülow Wagner, respectively.
Roseninsel, Berg Castle, Lake Starnberg, Castle Herrenchiemsee, Castle Hohenschwangau, Linderhof Palace, Cuvilliés Theatre, Nymphenburg Palace, Ettal, Kaiservilla, and Neuschwanstein Castle were all used in the film. During filming, Visconti suffered a stroke.
The film has the distinction of containing a performance by Franco Mannino of Richard Wagner’s previously unrecorded original piano music, Elegie in A Flat Major, regarded as his final work for piano, as noted (in Italian) in the closing credits.