IMDb > Lola Montès (1955)
Lola Montès
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Lola Montès (1955) More at IMDbPro »

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Lola Montès -- Trailer for the Criterion Collection release
Lola Montès -- Lola Montès is a visually ravishing, narratively daring dramatization of the life of the notorious courtesan and showgirl, played by Martine Carol.

Overview

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7.5/10   2,989 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Cécil Saint-Laurent (based on the novel by: "La vie extraordinaire de Lola Montès")
Max Ophüls (scenario)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Lola Montès on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 December 1955 (France) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The frank and shocking story of the world's most famous woman of scandal! See more »
Plot:
The film tells the tragic story of Lola Montès, a great adventurer who becomes the main attraction of... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(27 articles)
User Reviews:
great as spectacle and technical wonder, but also a heartbreaking tale of a lost woman See more (28 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Martine Carol ... Lola Montes

Peter Ustinov ... Circus Master
Anton Walbrook ... Ludwig I, King of Bavaria
Henri Guisol ... Horseman Maurice
Lise Delamare ... Mrs. Craigie, Lola's mother
Paulette Dubost ... Josephine, The maid

Oskar Werner ... Student
Jean Galland ... Private Secretary
Will Quadflieg ... Franz Liszt
Héléna Manson ... Lieutenant James' Sister (as Helena Manson)
Germaine Delbat ... Stewardess
Carl Esmond ... Doctor (as Willy Eichberger)
Jacques Fayet ... Steward
Friedrich Domin ... Circus Manager
Werner Finck ... Wisböck, The artist
Ivan Desny ... Lieutenant Thomas James
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Béatrice Arnac ... Circus Rider (uncredited)
Maurice Barnay ... (uncredited)
Charles Bayard ... Man in the box (uncredited)
Ady Berber ... Bulgakov (uncredited)
Jacqueline Canterelle ... Friend of conductor (uncredited)
Alain Clairfond ... Young man (uncredited)
Yvonne Dany ... (uncredited)
Eddy Debray ... Captain (uncredited)
Roger Dutoit ... Seaman (uncredited)
Jeanine Fabre ... Girl (uncredited)
Jean Filliez ... (uncredited)
Aimée Fontenay ... (uncredited)
Otto Friebel ... Secretary (uncredited)
Anton Färber ... Lola's footman (uncredited)
Margarete Haagen ... Anna (uncredited)
Harry-Max ... Man in the box (uncredited)
Heinrich Hauser ... Lola's footman (uncredited)
Hélène Iawkoff ... (uncredited)
Walter Kiaulehn ... Theatre Manager (uncredited)
Alfons Kiechle ... Inn-keeper (uncredited)

Daniel Mendaille ... Captain (uncredited)
Bob Morel ... Man in the box (uncredited)
Bernard Musson ... (uncredited)
Marcel Ophüls ... (uncredited)
Léon Pauléon ... Passenger (uncredited)
Billy Phillipsen ... (uncredited)
Claude Pinoteau ... Conductor Claudio Pirotto (uncredited)
Suzanne Pinoteau ... Maid (uncredited)
Philippe Richard ... Colonel (uncredited)
Yves Rozec ... Aerealist (uncredited)
Willy Rösner ... Prime minister (uncredited)
Hans Schwarz Jr. ... Wrestler (uncredited)
Leo Siedler ... Mittenhöfer (uncredited)
Victor Tabournot ... Man in the box (uncredited)
Maguy Vernadet ... Maid (uncredited)
Victor Vina ... Man in the box (uncredited)
Alexander von Malachowsky ... Lola's footman (uncredited)
Elinor von Wallerstein ... Queen (uncredited)
Gustav Waldau ... Trainer Jeppner (uncredited)

Directed by
Max Ophüls  (as Max Ophuls)
 
Writing credits
Cécil Saint-Laurent (based on the novel by: "La vie extraordinaire de Lola Montès") (as Cécil Saint Laurent)

Max Ophüls (scenario) (as Max Ophuls)

Annette Wademant (adaptation) &
Max Ophüls (adaptation) (as Max Ophuls)

Jacques Natanson (dialogue)

Franz Geiger  dialogue: German version (uncredited)
Peter Ustinov  dialogue: English version (uncredited)

Produced by
Albert Caraco .... producer
André Haguet .... producer (uncredited)
Anton Schelkopf .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Georges Auric 
 
Cinematography by
Christian Matras 
 
Film Editing by
Madeleine Gug (French version)
Jacqueline Sadoul (uncredited)
Adolf Schlyssleder (uncredited)
 
Production Design by
Jean d'Eaubonne  (as Jean D'Eaubonne)
 
Set Decoration by
Robert Christidès 
 
Costume Design by
Georges Annenkov 
 
Makeup Department
Jean Lalaurette .... hair stylist
Maguy Vernadet .... makeup artist
Jules Chanteau .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Georg Jauss .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Charlotte Müller .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Jonas Müller .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Ralph Baum .... production manager
Karlheinz Först .... production manager (uncredited)
Georg Markl .... production manager (uncredited)
Paule Pastier .... production manager (uncredited)
Helmut Ringelmann .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tony Aboyantz .... assistant director
Marcel Ophüls .... assistant director (as Marcel Wall)
Ulrich Picard .... assistant director (as Ulrich Pickardt)
Claude Pinoteau .... assistant director
Alain Jessua .... trainee assistant director (uncredited)
Adolf Schlyssleder .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Pierre Duquesne .... assistant set decorator (as P. Duquesne)
Jacques Gut .... assistant designer
Jacques Gut .... assistant set decorator (as J. Gut)
Willy Schatz .... assistant production designer
Werner Wappler .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Hans Endrulat .... sound engineer (as H. Endrulat)
Jean Nény .... sound engineer (as J. Neny)
Antoine Petitjean .... sound engineer (as A. Petitjean)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ernest Bourreaud .... assistant camera (as E. Bourreaud)
Alain Douarinou .... camera operator
Luc Mirot .... assistant camera (as L. Mirot)
Raymond Voinquel .... still photographer
Henri Champion .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ferdinand Rotzinger .... still photographer (uncredited)
Karl-Heinz Vogelmann .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Felicitas Bergmann .... costume supervisor
Marcel Escoffier .... costumes: Martine Carol
Marie Gromtseff .... costume execution (as Gromtseff)
Barbara Karinska .... costume execution (as Karinska)
Ursula Maes .... costume supervisor
Madeleine Rabusson .... costumer (as M. Rabusson)
Jean Zay .... costumer (as J. Zay)
Suzanne Pinoteau .... wardrobe: Martine Carol (uncredited)
Monique Plotin .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
Monique Plotin .... costumer (uncredited)
Madeleine Rabusson .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
Jean Zay .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Etiennette Muse .... assistant editor (French version)
Hannes Nikel .... assistant editor (German version) (uncredited)
Rosa Ring .... assistant editor (German version) (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Jacques Métehen .... musical director
 
Other crew
Tony Aboyantz .... production assistant
Aimée Fontenay .... trapeze number
André Hoss .... general manager
Lucie Lichtig .... script girl
Martina Müller .... reconstruction (German premiere version)
Helge Pawlinin .... choreographer
Roger Peré .... administrative director
Peter S. Petrona .... technical advisor: circus
Yves Rozec .... trapeze number
Richard Balducci .... publicist (uncredited)
Eva Ebner .... script girl (uncredited)
Claude Vernier .... dialogue coach: Martine Carol (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
116 min
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby (Restored version) | 4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Australia:M (original rating) | Finland:S | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:PG (2000 video) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Famed film critic Andrew Sarris wrote "Lola Montès (1955) is in my unhumble opinion the greatest film of all time". He introduced the restoration at the New York Film Festival in 2008. He later decided that the greatest film of all time is The Earrings of Madame de... (1953), by the same director Max Ophüls'.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Shoot the Piano Player (1960)See more »

FAQ

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19 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
great as spectacle and technical wonder, but also a heartbreaking tale of a lost woman, 27 February 2009
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

It is not entirely fair to recommend Lola Montes so highly, or admire it so, since even the version that screened recently at the Film Forum in NYC, purported to be the definitive restoration, is *still* a truncated version. The original director's cut that premiered in France in 1955, and then to immediate withdrawal after its "disaster" of a reception at 140 minutes, is no longer available. At the least, it's a saving grace that so much has been saved in this 115 minute cut, considering how many version there are and how they vary with the running time.

And, for Pete sake, if by some chance you can see it on the big-screen (it's soon to leave the Film Forum for its *second* run following the re-release last October and its re-premiere at the NYFF), do so. The filmmaker, Max Ophuls, in what was his unintentional swan song- he died at 55- shot the hell out of this picture, with director of photography Christian Matras taking the 2:35:1 frame with new Eastmancolor by the horns and shaking it for all it could be worth within the context of a "vibrant" 19th century costume melodrama bio-pic. The colors all jump off so splendidly, with such a force that compels one to not have too long of a blink, as to do so would be to miss on little surprises, little things that Ophuls uses in his frame which he careens and swivels and moves around with the freedom of a curious, pleasantly intoxicated fowl. It's one of the first masterpieces of the widescreen color film.

But it's not just a great film in technical terms. That would be too easy perhaps for Ophuls, who uses this backdrop of the sweeping and sensational to pierce through other deeper things going on with the characters. In Lola Montes his character is someone who re-lives what has happened in her relatively short life (relatively since she's not really "old" in the sense of being tucked away from the public's gaze) as a main attraction in a French circus.

She's an object first and person second in this context, which as one can imagine bustles and throbs with excitement and fun as only something of a cousin to Fellini could be. And yet as a person she's had quite a journey to where she's at: from aristocratic daughter given away to a marriage she has to run away from (unfaithful husband, figures with a wife who is about as beautiful a being as could be in the immediate vicinity), then becomes a ballerina (her childhood dream), and then... well, a topic of gossip and scandal, such as romancing a conductor, all ending in Bavaria with her hopes of possibly settling down squandered for good. Hence the circus gig.

It's a story that's given that same kaleidoscopic view as in Citizen Kane, but this time with the twist that the protagonist isn't given the sort of "luxury" of already being dead as the story of a life is sifted through and given a LARGER-than-LIFE context. Lola's story is a spectacle, sometimes farce, sometimes legend, sometimes one of those too-much-to-believe sagas that keeps those glued to their seats while Lola also entertains with trapeze work! And yet under the blue lights, under the costume changes and other mock-ups and even the Q&A sessions that the ringmaster holds with the audience and Lola, the soul of this woman is about as "there" as a near-empty gas tank. She may still be alive, but it's a kind of limbo that would be too insane if it weren't true and played out to full spectacle and extravaganza.

As said, this is a work of true technical mastery, and there's one amazing camera move or one amazing little direction (I just smiled ear to ear seeing in the opening how the circus performers rolled out, and it stayed for a solid five minutes). But, too, Ophuls has an engaging, wonderful actress on top of having a complete knockout visually: Martine Carol, who I'm not sure I've seen outside of this film, pulls out a performance that wavers between weepy, flustered, driven, elegant, tortured, calm and hiding back hysteria. It's half diva and half substantially undermined human soul, and she pulls it off like it's the performance of a life. Good marks also go to Peter Ustinov as the Ringmaster, chugging along through a script that he knows almost too well (we get very amusing asides with one of the "little" people in the red costumes trying to get their change back from him mid-act), and the actor who played the Bavarian king. In Ophuls hands, they're not just other pieces of the set, but actors who work so diligently to make this all one cohesive piece.

And, really, that's what makes Lola Montes ultimately so remarkable. Ophuls has moments of melodrama, maybe so much so that one will have to really love costume-period-melodrama flicks to really appreciate it (I actually don't usually, this is an exception), and at the same time they all work as part of this story about what lies behind the pomp and circumstance. You can get lost from time to time in this movie, and it's thrilling to get wrapped up in it. And as well as an artistic achievement of considerable proportions, it's a really fun movie to boot.

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