Lola Montès (1955) - News Poster



Maigret Sets a Trap & Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case

Welcome to a pair of vintage mysteries with George Simenon’s popular Inspector Jules Maigret, a gumshoe who gets the tough cases. Top kick French actor Jean Gabin is the cop who keeps cool, until it’s time to rattle a recalcitrant suspect. In two separate cases, he tracks a serial killer in the heart of Paris, and travels to his hometown to unearth a murder conspiracy.

Maigret Sets a Trap


Maigret and the St. Fiacre Case

Blu-ray (separate releases)

Kino Classics

1958, 1959 / B&W /1:37 flat; 1:66 widescreen / 118, 101 min. / Street Date December 5, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber: Trap, St. Fiacre / 29.95 ea.

Starring: Jean Gabin, Annie Girardot, Jean Desailly, Olivier Hussenot, Lucienne Bogaert, Paulette Dubost, Lino Ventura, Dominique Page / Jean Gabin, Michel Auclair, Valentine Tessier, Michel Vitold, Camille Guérini, Gabrielle Fontan, Micheline Luccioni, Jacques Marin, Paul Frankeur, Robert Hirsch.

Cinematography: Louis Page

Film Editor: Henri Taverna

Original Music: Paul Misraki
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Cannes Film Review: ‘Golden Years’

Cannes Film Review: ‘Golden Years’
Last year’s “Being 17” reminded us that André Téchiné could still make beautifully crafted, youthful films with insight and emotional certitude. The master’s latest, “Golden Years,” offers a far less encouraging lesson, since this ragtag period piece, clearly plagued by script problems, is lifeless to the core. Artificiality was never Téchiné’s strong suit, and the film’s structure, main characters and recurrent “Lola Montès”-style cabaret-circus device don’t play well to what he does best. Based on the fabulous but true story of a World War I deserter who discovers a thrilling new life when his wife dresses him up as a woman to avoid being caught, “Golden” enters a market already awash in gender fluidity and is unlikely to find a berth outside France.

Who can blame the director if the irresistible lure of this unlikely tale broke down his presumed wariness of costume dramas? (They appear infrequently in his oeuvre.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Newswire: R.I.P. Michael Ballhaus, cinematographer

Michael Ballhaus, the German director of photography known for his mastery of camera movement and his partnerships with directors Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Martin Scorsese, has died. One of the most remarkable cinematographers of his generation, Ballhaus brought the expressive and fluid camera of the classic studio long take—exemplified by director Max Ophüls, a family friend—into the strange new world of lightweight dolly tracks, zoom lenses, and Steadicam, and in the process created some of the most iconic and breathtaking shots of the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. He was 81.

Born into a well-known family of stage actors, Ballhaus developed an early interest in photography, but didn’t catch the film bug until the age of 19, when he was invited to the set of Ophüls’ final masterpiece, Lola Montès. (He appears in the film as an extra.) The experience inspired him to become a cinematographer, and he ...
See full article at The AV Club »

The Barefoot Contessa

The Barefoot Contessa


Twilight Time

1954 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 130 min. / Street Date December 13, 2016 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Marius Goring, Rossano Brazzi, Valentina Cortese, Elizabeth Sellars, Warren Stevens, Enzo Staiola, Mari Aldon, Bessie Love.

Cinematography: Jack Cardiff

Original Music: Mario Nascimbene

Written, Produced and Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

As a teenager, many of my first and strongest movie impressions came not from the movies, but from certain critics. I memorized Robin Wood’s analysis before getting a look at Hitchcock’s Psycho. Raymond Durgnat introduced me to Georges Franju and Luis Buñuel, and I first learned to appreciate a number of great movies including The Barefoot Contessa from Richard Corliss, a terrific critic who championed writers over director-auteurs.

The Barefoot Contessa is a classically structured story, in that it could work as a novel; it’s told from several points of view.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Tragic Romance of Max Ophüls’ "Liebelei"

  • MUBI
Mubi is showing Max Ophüls' Liebelei (1933) from November 9 - December 8, 2016 in most countries around the world.While the primary players in Max Ophüls’ 1933 film Liebelei may be introduced at the same opera house, seeing the same performance of Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” the real drama is produced away from the stage, though it is rarely any less histrionic. As secretive private passions and illicit romances are revealed, so softly and elegantly in what would become the presentational norm for Ophüls, a genuinely pure, ultimately heartbreaking, relationship emerges from the scandalous furor. When philandering German Lieutenant Fritz Lobheimer (Wolfgang Liebeneiner) meets and falls for Christine Weyring (Magda Schneider), the daughter of an opera musician, he is commendably quick to break off his essentially lustful involvement with the adulterous Baroness von Eggersdorff (Olga Tschechowa). Unlike Arthur Schnitzler’s source play (Schnitzler, who would also provide the foundation for Ophüls’ excellent 1950 film,
See full article at MUBI »

NYC Weekend Watch: Fassbinder Favorites, Buñuel, Queer Cinema, King Hu & More

Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.


You’ve read of Rainer Werner Fassbinder‘s ten favorite films — now you can see them. The German titan’s beloved titles are celebrated in a new series: Johnny Guitar screens this Friday; Saturday offers Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Night of the Hunter, and the rarely seen The Red Snowball Tree; on Sunday, one can
See full article at The Film Stage »

Masters of Cinema Cast – Episode 50 – Max Ophuls’ La signora di tutti

What better way to reach episode fifty than to be joined by one of the most foremost and respected film critics and theorists of her generation, to discuss Max OphulsLa signora di tutti we are honored to have Laura Mulvey join us. We hope you enjoy!

From Masters of Cinema:

With the Nazi terror on the ascent, master filmmaker Max Ophuls fled to Italy in 1934 and made La signora di tutti [Everybody’s Lady] — an exuberant, desperate melodrama that, although arriving early in Ophuls’ body of work, ranks comfortably alongside Letter from an Unknown Woman, Madame de…, or Lola Montès in the hierarchy of the director’s achievements.

Isa Miranda, one of Italy’s greatest stars, plays the role of a star revisiting her life in flashback after a suicide attempt leaves her comatose. From the record revolving on a turntable in the picture’s opening moments, Ophuls sets into motion one
See full article at CriterionCast »

Criterion Picks on Fandor: Directing in Color

Each week, the fine folks at Fandor add a number of films to their Criterion Picks area, which will then be available to subscribers for the following twelve days. This week, the Criterion Picks focus on nine films where some of the most famous directors in the Criterion Collection first directed a feature in color.

Saturate yourself in the vivid stylings of some of our favorite directors, wielding a whole new spectrum of expression for the very first time.

Don’t have a Fandor subscription? They offer a free trial membership.

Dodes’ka-den, the Japanese Drama by Akira Kurosawa

The unforgettable Dodes’Ka-den was made at a tumultuous moment in Kurosawa’s life. And all of his hopes, fears and artistic passion are on fervent display in this, his gloriously shot first color film.

Equinox Flower, the Japanese Drama by Yasujirô Ozu

Later in his career, Yasujiro Ozu started becoming
See full article at CriterionCast »

The Academy Announces 8-Week Summer Film Series

Got your Summer film calendar planned yet? On Wednesday The Academy announced their May and June programs which will explore the past, present and especially the future of moviegoing, as the availability of a wide variety of platforms for viewing films alters the habits of today’s audiences.

“The New Audience: Moviegoing in a Connected World,” a live panel presentation on May 12, complements “This Is Widescreen,” an eight-week screening series beginning May 1 that illustrates one of the ways filmmakers more than a half-century ago responded to the competition of that era, television.

The New Audience: Moviegoing In A Connected World

Tuesday, May 12│7:30 P.M.│Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills

Moderator Krista Smith, Vanity Fair’s executive West Coast editor, will lead an onstage panel discussion of how filmmakers and studios seek to take advantage of the wide variety of viewing platforms available to contemporary audiences.

Scheduled guests include Walt
See full article at »

An Imperial Romance: Max Ophüls's "From Mayerling to Sarajevo"

  • MUBI
The title invokes tragedies already over and done: "From Mayerling to Sarajevo," a range of time spanning from the suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria in Mayerling, a death that eventually made Archduke Franz Ferdinand the next heir to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, to the assassination of the Archduke in the Bosnian capital, precipitating the First World War.The title invokes a range of cities spanning countries. The director of From Mayerling to Sarajevo, a 1940 picture revived in a new print by The Film Desk and opening at New York’s Film Forum on March 27, is Max Ophüls, himself a roving vagabond auteur, born in Germany and making films not only there but in the Netherlands, Italy, Hollywood, and France, where this film was made on the precipice of the Second World War and the beginning of a new kind of German-speaking empire.The films of Max Ophüls survive beautiful and aphoristic,
See full article at MUBI »

New on Video: ‘Caught’


Directed by Max Ophüls

Written by Arthur Laurents

USA, 1949

Max Ophüls’ third feature in America, Caught, from 1949, is an evocative amalgam of a domesticated melodramatic tragedy and a dynamic film noir sensibility. The picture stars Barbara Bel Geddes as Leonora Eames, a studious adherent to charm school principles who dreams of becoming a glamorous model, or at least marrying a young, handsome millionaire. She gets the latter when she meets Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan), a wealthy “international something” who gives her the superficial materials she desires but little else. Their marriage is an arduous sham. He works late hours on unclear projects while she is left to dwell uselessly in their extravagant mansion. He’s cruel to her and careless. A way out of the stifling relationship comes in the form of a job as a doctor’s receptionist. Leonora leaves Ohlrig and moves into Manhattan, where she eventually
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Noteworthy: Dafoe as Pasolini, "Critical Condition", Raya Bomb

  • MUBI
Above: a first look at Willem Dafoe in Abel Ferrara's Pasolini. In Film Comment, Kent Jones has published an incredible piece entitled "Critical Condition", in which he examines our limited critical views on cinema:

"The point is not to claim that film criticism took a wrong turn in the Fifties and Sixties. The auteurist idea at its most basic (that movies are primarily the creation of one governing author behind the camera who thinks in images and sounds rather than words and sentences) is now the default setting in most considerations of moviemaking, and for that we should all be thankful. We’d be nowhere without auteurism, which boasts a proud history: the lovers of cinema didn’t just argue for its inclusion among the fine arts, but actually stood up, waved its flag, and proclaimed its glory without shame. In that sense, it stands as a truly remarkable
See full article at MUBI »

'Lola Montès' Joins the Afs Traveling Circus Series in July

German filmmaker Max Ophüls directed such acclaimed titles as The Earrings of Madame de... and La Ronde, but his last film, Lola Montès, stands out from the rest.  For one, it's the only Technicolor movie he made, with vibrant colors popping on the screen. Secondly, the flashback technique he chose to use in this film irked his production company so that they altered the cut shown to audiences in 1956. In recent years, a cut much closer to Ophüls' original vision has been restored and released to the public. Finally, Lola Montes has all the best qualities of an Ophüls film -- in CinemaScope.

This fictionalization of the life of historic figure Montes, an Irish dancer/courtesan who enchanted such men as Franz Liszt and King Ludwig I, has a ringmaster (Peter Ustinov, speaking French!) as a sort of narrator, with Ms. Montes (Martine Carol) walking a tightrope and performing death-defying
See full article at Slackerwood »

Madame de… – review

After numerous viewings I'm happy to call Max Ophüls's Madame de…, made in 1953 and re-released in a new print, flawless. Ophüls returned from his extended Hollywood exile (which had resulted in four postwar films) to direct four stylish French movies, all with period settings. Made between Le Plaisir, his Maupassant portmanteau picture, and his final film, Lola Montès, this penultimate masterpiece stars Danielle Darrieux as a wilful French countess in fin-de-siècle Paris who falls in love with an Italian diplomat (Vittorio De Sica). The witty plot follows a pair of earrings given her by the Count (Charles Boyer) that pass from hand to hand. It's full of characteristically graceful tracking shots, the editing is superb, and in her third consecutive Ophüls film Darrieux has never looked more entrancing.

DramaWorld cinemaPhilip French © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Joe Wright interview on Anna Karenina

Joe Wright's Anna Karenina explores theatrical space, while his spectacular trains venture into uncharted territory with beautiful and troubling women on board. A little Max Ophüls' Lola Montès, a little Aleksandr Sokurov's Russian Ark, puppets, ships as beds, breathtaking Chanel jewels and very modern physicality, choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, merge in Wright's unafraid vision.

When I spoke with the director in New York last week about his formidable approach to Anna Karenina with a luminous Keira Knightley in the title role, he said that for him, "it's about being human. It's a deeply spiritual text." In my interview with Knightley, during which we looked into the symbolism of costume design, she revealed that when she first read Tolstoy's novel as a teenager, she was "getting very bored in the agricultural Levin bits [best friend of Anna's brother, sensitive landowner, and often...
See full article at »

Anna Karenina – review

By setting much of Tolstoy's masterpiece inside a theatre, Joe Wright both dazzles and distances the viewer

Tom Stoppard, a fluent and sensitive adaptor, has made a distinguished job of carving a workable screenplay from Tolstoy's 950-page novel, and Joe Wright has found a distinctive way of bringing it to the screen with Keira Knightley as Anna, Jude Law as her middle-aged, cuckolded husband, Karenin, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as her dashing lover, Count Vronsky. The last serious attempt to film Anna Karenina was by Bernard Rose in 1997, a lumbering work shot largely on Russian locations in the style of Dr Zhivago, with Sophie Marceau hopelessly inadequate as Anna, James Fox inexpressive as Karenin and Sean Bean virile in a rather unaristocratic way as Vronsky.

Having felt with some justification that he hadn't done justice to this towering masterpiece, Rose subsequently set about making innovative, low-budget versions of lesser Tolstoy fictions.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Paulette Dubost obituary

French actor best known for her role in Jean Renoir's 1939 masterpiece The Rules of the Game

Although Paulette Dubost, who has died aged 100, appeared in far more films than the number of years she lived, most cinemagoers know her best as Lisette, the coquettish chambermaid in Jean Renoir's La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game, 1939), one of cinema's masterpieces. Lisette, who attends the Marquis de la Chesnaye during a lavish weekend party at a country chateau, flirts dangerously with a poacher turned servant (Julian Carette), while her overly jealous gamekeeper husband (Gaston Modot) tries to catch them at it.

Dubost and Carette play a deliciously sly and comic cat-and-mouse game with the absurdly rigid Modot, especially during the after-dinner entertainment, a breathtaking sequence, described by the critic Richard Roud as something from "a Marx brothers film scripted by a Feydeau who suddenly acquired a tragic sense
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Paulette Dubost Dead at 100: Worked with Jean Renoir, Jacques Tourneur, Julien Duvivier

Paulette Dubost Dead at 100: Worked with Jean Renoir, Jacques Tourneur, Julien Duvivier
Paulette Dubost, known as the "Dean of French Cinema," and an actress in films directed by Jean Renoir, Marcel L'Herbier, Jacques Tourneur, Julien Duvivier, Max Ophüls, Preston Sturges, François Truffaut, Louis Malle, and Marcel Carné, died of "natural causes" on Sept. 21 in the Parisian suburb of Longjumeau. The Paris-born Dubost had turned 100 years old on October 8, 2010. Dubost's show business career began at the age of seven, performing various duties at the Paris Opera. Following some stage training, her film debut took place in 1931 in Wilhelm Thiele's Le bal, which also marked the film debut of Danielle Darrieux (who's still around and still active). Ultimately, Dubost's film career was to span more than seven decades, during which time she was featured in over 140 movies. She is probably best remembered as the adulterous chambermaid Lisette in Jean Renoir's 1939 comedy-drama La règle du jeu / The Rules of the Game, considered by
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

MovieRetriever's 100 Greatest Movies: #51: Madame de ...

Dec 14, 2010

The Earrings of Madame de . . . is one of the four films – all made in the 1950s shortly before his death—that constitute the highest expression of Max Ophüls's personal style. Along with La ronde, Le plaisir, and Lola Montès, the film combines all the technical ingredients and thematic concerns that had preoccupied Ophüls throughout his rather "up and down" career. Foremost among these interests, of course, was the intricate blending of complex, dazzling camera work with the themes of mankind's obsession with material objects – and a kind of poignant romanticism ...Read more at
See full article at CinemaNerdz »
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