Two women love the same man in a world of few prospects. In Budapest, Liliom is a "public figure," a rascal who's a carousel barker, loved by the experienced merry-go-round owner and by a ...
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Two women love the same man in a world of few prospects. In Budapest, Liliom is a "public figure," a rascal who's a carousel barker, loved by the experienced merry-go-round owner and by a young, innocent maid. The maid, Julie, loses her job after going out with Liliom; he's fired by his jealous employer for going out with Julie. The two lovers move in with Julie's aunt; unemployment emasculates him and a local weasel tempts him with crime. Julie, now wan, is true to Liliom even in his bad temper. Meanwhile, a stolid widower, a carpenter, wants to marry Julie. Is there any future on this earth for Julie and Liliom, whose love is passionate rather than ideal?Written by
Fritz Lang's only film made in France (at Fox's European division) after fleeing there from Nazi Germany. After this production Lang would emigrate to the United States, but it would be two years until his next film, Fury (1936). See more »
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! The Hippo-Palace, elegant amusement for all! Glad to see you back, ma'am. You should buy a season pass! Just like a jockey, grip with your knees! Careful with your stockings! Calling all riders! Saddle up!
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Madeleine Ozeray, who plays Julie, also plays her daughter, but this has never been mentioned in any credit list for the film. See more »
The original video release of this (on Sinister Video) in 1998 did not have subtitles, and was cut by half-an-hour. The current DVD and VHS release on Kino has subtitles and is the full-length version of the film. See more »
Director Fritz Lang draws us in immediately with a beautiful opening credit sequence which segues to a boisterous Charles Boyer in the role of Liliom, a carousel barker at a carnival. Liliom flirts with the ladies and plays to the crowd, and we find ourselves charmed. It wears off as he begins putting the moves on a beguiled young woman (Madeleine Ozeray), because it turns out he's quite a rake. He begins living off her and abusing her besides, in one scene slapping her, and in others alluding to beating her. I won't say more about the plot, except to say it takes a very interesting turn when he reluctantly agrees to commit a crime with his low-life buddy (Pierre Alcover).
Lang is very creative in this film, keeping us offbase as to where the film is going and capturing nice shots with reflections and shadows. At one point Boyer is mired in bureaucracy waiting for a form to be stamped, which is a comical moment. I had the film scored a little higher, but it dropped a little for me in just how light it got as it played out. The film was set up for much more interesting moments, and it seemed like a blown opportunity when it got silly. I was also not a fan of one of the film's messages, that out of love in a relationship "someone can beat you, and beat you, without hurting you at all." Watch this one for the unique role Boyer plays (apparently one of the actor's favorites), and to see Fritz Lang's only French film, made shortly after he left Germany.
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