|Directed by||Max Ophüls|
|Produced by||Albert Caraco|
|Music by||Georges Auric|
|Edited by||Madeleine Gug|
|Distributed by||Gamma Films (France)|
|Release date(s)||23 December 1955 (France)
|Running time||110 min / 115 min (restored version)|
|Language||French / English|
Lola Montès (1955) is an historical film, and the last completed film by Max Ophüls. The film is based loosely on the life of the 19th century dancer and actress Lola Montez—portrayed by Martine Carol—and tells the story of her numerous affairs, most notably with Franz Liszt and Ludwig I of Bavaria. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray in North America by The Criterion Collection in February 2010.
The film presents scenes from the life of the 19th century dancer Lola Montès as told by her via flashbacks from her current life—as a performer in a circus, where the ringmaster (Ustinov) befriends her.
- Martine Carol as Lola Montès
- Peter Ustinov as Circus Master
- Anton Walbrook as Ludwig I, King of Bavaria
- Oskar Werner as Student
- Henri Guisol as Horseman Maurice
- Lise Delamare as Mrs. Craigie, Lola's mother
- Paulette Dubost as Josephine, The maid
This would be the last film directed by Ophüls before his death of a heart attack in March 1957. As originally shown in France in 1955, the audience sees the events of Lola Montès' life through the use of flashbacks. Use of the technique was criticized upon its release and the movie did poorly at the box office. In response, the producers re-cut the film and shortened it in favor of a more chronological storyline, against the director's wishes.
According to Roger Ebert, a "savagely butchered version was in circulation for a few years" following Ophuls' death. The film critic Andrew Sarris and others eventually showed improved versions, progressively closer to the original, at the New York Film Festival in 1963 and 1968.
Certain elements remained missing and believed lost, but the recent discovery of the lost footage allowed a new version to be edited according to Ophul's original intentions. The film was repaired by Martina Müller and Werner Dütsch. It was shown at the New York Film Festival in the restored version on Sept. 26 – Oct. 12, 2008.
In popular culture
- Ebert, Roger (November 5, 2008). "Lola Montes movie review". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Martina Müller, Werner Dütsch: Lola Montez – Eine Filmgeschichte
- "New York Film Festival review of the restored version". Film Society of Lincoln Center. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
- Lola Montès at the Internet Movie Database
- Lola Montès at AllMovie
- Lola Montes at Rotten Tomatoes
- Senses of Cinema essay by Rodney Hill
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