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Lola Montes (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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This has long been a film appreciated more by filmmakers than by audiences. It appeals either to those who scrutinize its camerawork or who can place it in the context of film history or of Max Orphuls' work. That said, and although the film is technically interesting, I found it quite watchable. "Lola Montes" was the stage name of Elisabeth Rosanna Gilbert, a famed Spanish dancer, courtesan, and mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria in the 1840s. Orphuls reduces her to a circus attraction in middle age, taking impertinent questions from the audience and recreating her scandalous life on stage through absurd tableaux vivants and dangerous stunts.
In fact, Lola Montes was never in a circus, and Orphuls hits the viewer over the head with his condemnation of exploitation and objectification, represented by Lola's (Martine Carol) circus act and its callous ringmaster (Peter Ustinov). I can't help but think this is at least partly responsible for the film's poor reception. As a rule, movies that scold, accuse, or condemn their own audiences are not popular. When Orphuls shames the audience of that circus, they are stand-ins for the film's audience.Read more ›
In short, Montes led a pretty exciting life ripe for cinematic treatment. Director Max Ophuls took up the challenge in what would be his last film and the only one in colour and Cinemascope. When Lola Montes was released in 1955, the critics savaged it causing the film's producers to panic and re-edit it. The film did have its admirers, chief among them filmmaker Francois Truffaut and critic Andrew Sarris. By 2008, Lola Montes was restored to Ophuls' original intentions and digitally remastered to its original glory, preserving its vibrant colour scheme.
The first disc includes an audio commentary by film scholar Susan White, author of The Cinema of Max Ophuls. She states that Lola Montes is not a film for everyone because of the unusual attention to style. She discusses the odd casting of Martine Carol and what she brought to the film. White does an excellent job of analyzing the film's style and what it means in relation to the characters and the story. She also sheds light on the film's rocky production. This is a very informative track full of insight into the film and the people that made it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A justly revered classic of filmmaking, but the long sequence about the deaf Bavarian king who takes a liking to Lola should have been cut. Read morePublished on January 22, 2014 by Amazon Customer
This movie is listed in Danny Peary's cult movie book. I try to watch alot of the movies he writes about.Published on January 3, 2014 by Jeff Colson
THE WHOLE STORY WAS REALLY HOLLOW, BUT THE DESIGN AND THE HANDLE OF THE WHOLE ELEMENT WAS TRULY UNFORGETTABLE AND AT HIGH-LEVEL. WATCH IT IF YOU DON'T HAVE TOP FILMS TO.Published on February 3, 2013 by HAN XIAO
This film needs an excellent reproduction and this is it.
The last of Ophuls' films, Lola Montes is fitting. Read more
Camera work is excellent, the script inventive. But why is the acting so plain awful? Especially the leading actress. Gee, she can't act! Read morePublished on July 18, 2012 by Joyce S. J. Yen
75uk Lola Montès by Max Ophüls (1955, 115')
Maximillian Oppenheimer (1902 Saarbrücken-1957 Hamburg,) -- known as Max Ophüls -- was an influential... Read more
This was an awesome movie that my parents had the honor of being cast in minor roles. I loved the costumes and the color was vibrant.Lola Montes (The Criterion Collection)Published on December 5, 2010 by Jdtartt
Having taken a day trip to Nevada City, Ca., I was surprised to learn that Lola Montez had lived there and the house is still standing. Read morePublished on April 5, 2010 by R. Lapin
Much better than the previously available dvd, with better color rendition, and of course, the usual Criterion extras. Read morePublished on March 17, 2010 by Logger
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