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Lola Montès (1955)

Not Rated  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  23 December 1955 (France)
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The film tells the tragic story of Lola Montès, a great adventurer who becomes the main attraction of a circus after being the lover of various important European men.


(as Max Ophuls)


(based on the novel by: "La vie extraordinaire de Lola Montès") (as Cécil Saint Laurent) , (scenario) (as Max Ophuls) , 5 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Circus Master
Anton Walbrook ...
Horseman Maurice
Lise Delamare ...
Mrs. Craigie, Lola's mother
Josephine, The maid
Jean Galland ...
Private Secretary
Will Quadflieg ...
Héléna Manson ...
Lieutenant James' Sister (as Helena Manson)
Germaine Delbat ...
Carl Esmond ...
Doctor (as Willy Eichberger)
Jacques Fayet ...
Friedrich Domin ...
Circus Manager
Werner Finck ...
Wisböck, The artist


The film tells the tragic story of Lola Montès, a great adventurer who becomes the main attraction of a circus after being the lover of various important European men. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The True Story of a Fancy Woman! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »





| |

Release Date:

23 December 1955 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Lola Montès  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,569 (USA) (10 October 2008)


$107,264 (USA) (20 February 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Restored version)| (Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is the only film ever to be shown at three New York Film Festivals. See more »


When the Circus Master first tries to recruit Lola, he lists San Francisco as an important North American city, and includes Buffalo Bill in a list of major circus figures. This scene is set shortly before Montez left for Bavaria, so it must be late 1845 or early 1846. San Francisco was called Yerba Buena until 1847, and the name Buffalo Bill was first applied in the 1860s to William F. Cody, who was born in 1846. See more »


Referenced in Gods of the Plague (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

the most flawed masterpiece
26 June 2001 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Of all movies that appear here and there in lists of greatest movies of all-time Lola Montès is the most criticized. Ranked by some as one of the 10 greatest, the movie suffers from some slow scenes and a wooden-acted protagonist played by Martine Carol. But the overall effect is mesmerizing. Cinema´s history isn´t made only of perfect movies.

It is the only color movie that Max Ophüls directed and the last of his career. You could only imagine the genius he would be in color films. The circus that links all the facts is a example of decadence in its greens and reds that many advertising-style filmmakers would kill for to get the same effect to show beauty. Ophüls is subtle and the most elegant director that has ever lived. He is one of the fundamental cinema masters (in the same category of Griffith, Chaplin, Eisenstein, Buñuel, Renoir, Welles, Bergman, Ford, Hitchcock, Wilder, Visconti, Mizoguchi, Truffaut, etc) and probably the less seen of them.

Lola Montès received poor critics at the time of its release but was recognized as great art and a summing up of Ophüls´ themes by the French nouvelle vague critics. You find in it some interesting comments about the way the society created by men destroy women and their paths to happiness. Ophüls was an author not a historian. He wasn´t interested in Lola as a historic figure but as a celebrity humiliated by her public just because she tried to be free. Ophüls has decided to make the movie after noticing how press used to treat the crisis of Judy Garland and Zsa Zsa Gabor affairs.

If you want to see other incredible films of the director watch to Libelei, Letter from an Unknown Woman and La Ronde.

35 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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