Skip to main content


UK, 1967 (MIFF 1969, Programme A)

Birgit Nilsson sings Brunnhilde. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau sings Gunther. The orchestra is the Vienna Philharmonic, the conductor Covent Garden's Georg Solli. The music is, of course, Wagner's. The event is what a leading critic has described as the greatest achievement in gramophone history: the recording of the entire Ring Cycle. Seventeen Stereophonic Hours.

For the final eight days of the recording, a mobile television unit from the Austrian Television Service moved into a converted Viennese ballroom to tape the biggest production of its kind ever televised. Then along came a BBC film unit to add to the confabulation.

They returned with Sixteen Canned Hours—and several months' editing ahead of them. This is the result: the record of the record. The entire background of the operation is interspersed with interviews with the principal artists and studies of the technicians at work in the vast complexities of it all. It is an achievement of interest to many more than lovers of Wagner.

See also...


This impressionistic study equates the life cycle of sunflowers with that of man. ... More »


The book on which this film is based was written by the Rumanian author Liviu Rebreanu in memory of his brother, who actually experienced the drama portrayed. The film is set towards the end of the ... More »

My Wife Said That's Enough

She called a halt when her husband decided to enlarge the thing in the basement which had occupied him every evening for years. But it made no difference: he continued with his meticulous task, of ... More »

Sarvepalli Radhakrishna

A projection of the personality of the President of India as a man of learning and a promoter of world peace. ... More »


A few years back, Poland led the Eastern European countries in forthright themes in films, but has, of late, mainly concentrated on large scale epics. This film marks a return to smaller themes ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director