Wittgenstein (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wittgenstein (1993)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Derek Jarman directed this witty, stylish biography of the life of the eccentric 20th-century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (Karl Johnson). Wittgenstein is shown as a boy living a repressive youth, demonstrated by his family appearing in Roman togas. When Wittgenstein leaves to study under Bertrand Russell at Cambridge, he begins to investigate language and apply the strictures and constructs of language to philosophical study. The subject of Wittgenstein's homosexuality is depicted when, after World War I, he falls in love with a poor philosophy student, Johnny (Kevin Collins). Also portrayed is Wittgenstein's death at an early age from prostate cancer.


Karl Johnson
as Ludwig Wittgenstein
Michael Gough
as Bertrand Russell
Tilda Swinton
as Lady Ottoline Morrell
John Quentin
as Maynard Keynes
Clancy Chassay
as Young Wittgenstein
Nabil Shaban
as Martian
Sally Dexter
as Hermine Wittgenstein
Lynn Seymour
as Lydia Lopokova
Jan Latham-Koenig
as Paul Wittgenstein
David Radzinowicz
as Rudolf Wittgenstein
Howard Sooley
as Kurt Wittgenstein
Ben Scantlebury
as Hans Wittgenstein
Vanya Del Borgo
as Helene Wittgenstein
Gina Marsh
as Gretyl Wittgenstein
Jill Balcon
as Leopoldine Wittgenstein
Donald McInnes
as Hairdresser
Layla Alexander Garrett
as Sophie Janovskaya
Aisling Magill
as Schoolgirl
Fayez Samare
as Student
as Model
as Model
View All

Critic Reviews for Wittgenstein

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1)

Jarman uses a black box set to make time and place irrelevant while foregrounding the true stars of the film - the human mind and Sandy Powell's brilliantly eccentric costume design.

June 9, 2021 | Full Review…

Johnson tore into his role like a hungry barnyard dog into a carcass.

March 10, 2012 | Rating: A | Full Review…

One of Britain's most famous avant garde filmmakers, Derek Jarman, constructs a biopic of Viennese philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein with a bravura display of visual imagery

August 23, 2008 | Full Review…

Offers many zany snapshots of the 20th century Austrian who made philosophy more self-conscious

July 20, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Wittgenstein


Oh joy to the youngsters,the gracious question marks,what is logic?The end of reluctance,a desperate tangling,perjury,yes. Apostrophe and immortality.Communication is the key but while we're eagerly waiting for the key,philosophy can bulk our sodding curiosity.

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

Wittgenstein Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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