Director Luchino Visconti (The Leopoard, Death in Venice) brings his famed majestic style to this lavish and operatiec portrait of Ludwig II, the 19th century 'mad king' of Bavaria. Tormented by his unrequited love for his cousin, Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Romy Schneider), coupled with his obsession with the music of Wagner. Ludwig retreats into a fantasy world-building fairytale casltes and ultimately losing his already-fragile grip on his sanity.