Review: ‘The Mephisto Waltz’

Based on the novel by Fred Mustard Stewart, pic follows in deadpan style the antics of a deranged concert pianist (Curt Jurgens), dying of leukemia whose lust for his daughter (Barbara Parkins) and devotion to devil-worship destroy the marriage of writer Alan Alda and Jacqueline Bisset.

Based on the novel by Fred Mustard Stewart, pic follows in deadpan style the antics of a deranged concert pianist (Curt Jurgens), dying of leukemia whose lust for his daughter (Barbara Parkins) and devotion to devil-worship destroy the marriage of writer Alan Alda and Jacqueline Bisset.

To revive his sexual prowess, Jurgens has Alda killed, then assumes his body. A trifle slow on the uptake, Bisset finally realizes something is amiss after her daughter dies under mysterious conditions. Alda-cum-Jurgens starts getting ruthless in bed, and the ex-husband of Parkins (Bradford Dillman) tells her (before being killed) of a monster child miscarried by Parkins and sired by her father.

Main fault is a tired script with more than a full quota of arch, laughable dialog, spouted with relish by performers struggling to keep their heads above water.

The Mephisto Waltz

Production

20th Century-Fox/QM. Director Paul Wendkos; Producer Quinn Martin; Screenplay Ben Maddow; Camera William W. Spencer; Editor Richard Brockway; Music Jerry Goldsmith; Art Director Richard Y. Hamen

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1971. Running time: 115 MIN.

With

Alan Alda Jacqueline Bisset Barbara Parkins Bradford Dillman William Windom Curt Jurgens
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