Ludwig der Zweite, König von Bayern


In the last years of his life, Bavarian king Ludwig II (1845 – 1886) devotes himself to ambitious architectural projects, which strain the state coffers to the extreme. The monarch, who is afraid of people, also withdraws more and more into a dream world at his various castles. His brother is already in a psychiatric institute and Ludwig is also eventually put under the care of psychiatrist Bernhard von Gudden. The king attempted to get out from under this guardianship at Starnberg lake ... “If the upper echelons don’t like you, you must go ...” Taking a down to earth point of view, this story of the “fairy tale king” depicts the descent of a broken character into mental breakdown. In Wilhelm Dieterle’s interpretation, fawning courtiers and officials, the heir apparent, and the medical profession all contributed to hastening the collapse. So the dispassionate film, which did not hide Ludwig’s fascination with the naked male body, drew intense criticism from Bavaria. When Berlin’s censorship board refused to intervene, Munich’s police commissioner imposed a ban on showing it on the grounds that it was “a danger to the public order.”


  • Runtime

    132.0 min
  • Country

  • Year of Presentation

  • Year of Production

  • Director

    Wilhelm Dieterle
  • Cast

  • Production Company

  • Berlinale Section

  • Berlinale Category

    Feature Film

Biography Wilhelm Dieterle

Born July 15, 1893 in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. William Dieterle had acted in his first film in 1913, it was six more years before he made another one. In that year he was noticed by producer/director/designer/impresario Max Reinhardt, the most influential proponent of expressionism in theater. Dieterle had acted in nearly 20 movies before he also began directing in 1923. With his wife Charlotte Hagenbruch he started his own film production. By 1930, however, he had emigrated to the US and through the 1940s Dieterle moved around among Hollywood's studios. In 1958 he returned to Germany and directed a few films there and in Italy before retiring in 1965. He later died on December 8th, 1972 in Ottobrunn, Bavaria, Germany

Filmography Wilhelm Dieterle

1930 Der Tanz geht weiter | 1930 The Way of All Men | 1931 and Die heilige Flamme | 1931 The Last Flight | 1936 The Story of Louis Pasteur | 1936 The Story of Louis Pasteur | 1937 The Life of Emile Zola | 1937 The Life of Emile Zola | 1938 Blockade | 1939 Juarez | 1939 The Hunchback of Notre Dame | 1945 Jennifer Jones: Love Letters | 1946 Duel in the Sun | 1948 Portrait of Jennie | 1948 Portrait of Jennie