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Vittorio De Sica
An all-knowing interlocutor guides us through a series of affairs in Vienna, 1900. A soldier meets an eager young lady of the evening. Later he has an affair with a young lady, who becomes a maid and does similarly with the young man of the house. The young man seduces a married woman. On and on, spinning on the gay carousel of life. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
"We can pretend it's night...and no one can see us but ourselves."
Dreamily tongue-in-cheek romantic concoction dips back lovingly into the past (Venice, 1900) to travel through the circular realm of love's finest hours, connecting and sweeping up its players in a carousel of lighthearted whimsy. Dashing Anton Walbrook is a singing, cigarette-smoking master of ceremonies, one who appears to perceive the art of loving as a nostalgic pastime. Max Ophüls directed and co-adapted Arthur Schnitzler's play "Reigen", and his touch is valentine-fresh while viewing love through a rose-colored crystal ball. The sadly happy theme music by Oscar Straus compliments the phony-theatrical backdrop, and in the beginning there are some very sweet and funny couplings. Unfortunately, the film is overlong and seems preconceived to attract attention with its ensemble star cast (everyone gets their moment in the spotlight); it also comes off rather precious. Moments remain magical, even though a detached undercurrent runs throughout, turning the characters into bemused mannequins. ** from ****
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