Two ghosts attend an engagement party, unseen by the other guests. One ghost, Dupont, is the father of the bride-to-be. He looks back on his marriage to her mother. His wife Annette was ... See full summary »
Director Max Ophüls surrounded Martine Carol (Lola Montès) with a solid cast, headed by Anton Walbrook as King Ludwig I, Oskar Werner as a student revolutionary, and Sir Peter Ustinov as the Ring Master. He shot this movie in Germany, Austria, and France in three different versions, French, German, and English (Ustinov wrote the English-language dialogue). Then he worked with three different editors, each in his own room, on the three different versions. 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 »
And now, Mesdames et Messieurs, the moment you've all been waiting for. The most sensational act of the century. Entertainment, emotion, action, history. Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen, meine Damen und Herren, a creature a hundred times more murderous than any beast in our menagerie. A bloodthirsty monster with the eyes of an angel. Ravaged hearts, squandered fortunes, the saraband of lovers, scepters, crowns, an authentic revolution.
Female Circus Jugglers:
Passion and glory, ...
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The film was shot in three language versions: German, French and English. There was a fourth version, silent, used as a working copy; this was eventually found at the Luxembourg Cinematheque. See more »
Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge!" owes something to Lola Montes.
The movie has its moments -- it worked for me as a meditation on the exploitation of love, and the exploitation of despair. Some have commented on the wooden Martine Carol performance, but I thought that was the point. Lola Montes is a blank slate onto whom her admirers project what they want to see. She's vibrant and captivating only to men who want her. And why do they want her? The endless stream of men willing to pay a dollar to kiss her hand -- they want her only because so many other men have wanted her, famous men. It's not about getting a piece of Lola the person, it's about getting a piece of Lola the brand. She's a product (in a cage!) marketed by Ustinov. They have a creepily symbiotic relationship -- the huckster needs his product, and the product needs to be sold.
Before she sells out to Ustinov, Lola lives for love, exploits it for all she's worth, and is exploited for all she's worth. In despair, she turns to Ustinov's show, where she daily and literally recreates her fall from the heights of romance to the tawdry center ring, where her life is exposed to question and ridicule from the cheap seats.
Not a bad flick. I thought the cheesy storytelling techniques -- the flashbacks, the elements of predictability (of course she's going to meet the King of Germany) her "dangerously weak heart" and the concerned doctor -- were ham handed by design, slyly self-mocking. Lola Montes is a movie worth seeing and thinking about.
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