In the Paris of the late 19th century, Louise, wife of a general, sells the earrings her husband gave her as a wedding gift: she needs money to cover her debts. The general secretly buys ...
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Three stories about the pleasure. The first one is about a man hiding his age behind a mask to keep going to balls and fancying women - pleasure and youth. Then comes the long tale of Mme ... See full summary »
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 ... See full summary »
In the Paris of the late 19th century, Louise, wife of a general, sells the earrings her husband gave her as a wedding gift: she needs money to cover her debts. The general secretly buys the earrings again and gives them to his mistress, Lola, leaving to go to Constantinople. Where an Italian diplomat, Baron Donati, buys them. Back to Paris, Donati meets Louise... So now Louise discovers love and becomes much less frivolous. Written by
Louise de Vilmorin chose to keep her characters nameless in order to match the style of Belle Époque authors, who employed the technique in order to make it seem as if their characters were based on real people. Max Ophüls decided to keep the characters surnames a secret in the film adaptation, because he felt that it created the suggestion that his characters could represent anybody from the story's milieu. See more »
When the general gives the earrings to Lola on the train, she is crying and has her little bag on her lap. In the next cut, the bag is on the table. See more »
Comtesse Louise de...:
[praying for her lover who is about to go on a duel with her husband]
Save him, dear saint. You know that we were guilty in thought only. And what are thoughts? Will you save him, my dear saint? I thank you in advance. Blessed be your name in heaven as on earth. Amen.
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Unlike Letter From an Unknown Woman, the only other film by Ophuls that i have seen, this one doesn't have much emotion, and it's harder to like the characters (for me, at least). Probably because of that, the title character is not as interesting as she could be; the men, whoever, are, probably more due to the great performances by Charles Boyer and the maverick director Vittorio de Sica. But any problems are forgivable due to the irreproachable costumes and art direction, the marvelous cinematography, and the very elaborate and rich camera work. It's the most beautiful film to look at that i have seen in a long time. Stanley Kubrick (like he said himself) owns much of his visual style to the German filmmaker. It's one of those unforgettable films, not because of the performers, or the plot, or the message, but the images; Vittorio de Sica and Danielle Darrieux dancing elegantly through the nights of Paris is one of the most remarkable moments in the history of cinema.
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