epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Movie Review: The Mephisto Waltz (1971)

A pre ‘MASH’ Alan Alda is Myles Clarkson, a music journalist married to Paula (Jacqueline Bisset). Myles interviews dying concert pianist Duncan and his daughter Roxanne (Barbara Parkins).

There is much piano pounding, Myles is a failed pianist and Duncan becomes interested in him and invites him to parties where up themselves 70s types hang out. Myles is a jackass and Paula is wary of his new ‘friends’.

Paula sees that Duncan and Roxanne have a very creepy relationship. Duncan is dying and he and his daughter are satanists. Is there any connection between that fact and the fact Myles wanders around like a meth head before becoming a brilliant concert pianist?

Duncan is dead or is he? He leaves his piano, musical score and money to Myles. Paula becomes a harridan. Myles and Paula’s daughter dies, there is no emotional carnage as neither seem to care. Everyone thinks Myles and Roxanne are having an affair. Paula overacts yet displays no confusion, terror, panic, pleading or soul crushing loss. She has endless dream sequences and figures out what is going on. More people die. Paula wants Myles back so comes up with a plan. Up to now the film has been boring but the final scenes are good as Paula does the really unexpected. The twist ending is good.

Best Lines:
“His wife was murdered by a dog.”

“I expected to see him rise from the coffin.”

“I’m ready to bargain.”

“They made a big fat bargain with the devil so they could enjoy each other.”
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