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Criterion Collection: Lola Montes [Blu-ray] [1955] [US Import]

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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£25.57 Only 5 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by Newtownvideo_EU.

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Product details

  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.55:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002XUL6QW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 150,828 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

The 19th-century courtesan recalls Franz Liszt and the king of Bavaria. Director Max Ophuls' last film.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I first saw this on TV about 20 years ago, and was delighted to see that it had appeared on DVD. My memory hadn't let me down. This is an amazing film, full of stunning images, vast crowd scenes, subtle use of EastmanColour, amazing fluid camera movement, low-key naturalistic acting, and wonderful performances.
Lola Montez was an 'adventuress', who, in this lightly fictionalised account of her life, has ended up in a circus, re-enacting key scenes from her life. In flashback, we see what really happended, starting with an unhappy marriage, her career as a dancer, and affairs with Liszt and the King of Bavaria (Anton Walbrook), the latter causing a revolution! Lola is played by Martine Carol, a wonderful French actress, and the ring-master in the circus scenes is a youthful Peter Ustinov. Mention must also be made of Auric's music, which captures the mood exactly.
This film is truly astonishing in its lavish detail and epic flair, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought "Lola Montes: The Restored Edition [1955] [DVD]" The English subtitles are hardcoded onto the movie and also over the lower black border. These are not regular DVD subtitles (vobsub). You cannot switch them off. This is an incredibly stupid and annoying thing to do, especially on what is claimed to be a "Restored Edition", so the restoration is also something of a careless mutilation. Aside from that the picture and sound quality is quite good. The term "restored" in this case refers to lost footage which was found and reincorporated (it had been cut by the studio/distributor against the director's wishes). Don't expect the kind of flawless picture you get on some other films where "restored" refers to restoring the image and/or sound quality, as in recent restorations of North by North West, The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus etc. or you'll be sorely disappointed.

edit: I just saw some of the Criterion Collection edition of this movie. The subtitles on the Criterion edition are not hard coded. The picture is flawless. The sound is superb. It makes me realise just how *incredibly* poor this supposedly restored DVD actually is. What a rip off. Lousy print, lousy sound, stupid clumsy subtitling ruining the movie. If I could give it 0 stars I would. I've bought some really terrible DVDs of classic movies, a lot of OK or unobjectionable ones and a few that are genuinely restored to a high standard, well presented and technically excellent. This one is a genuine stinker, being so bad that it ruins the experience of simply watching and enjoying the film.
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Format: DVD
"Lola Montes" tells the story of the famous courtesan, played by Martine Carol, who became a circus novelty because she was ill and had nowhere else to go. As the high points of her life out acted out for the crowd, Lola recalls her own memories of these events, only having to respond when the Circus Master (Peter Ustinov), compels her to answer questions from the audience. Obviously Ophuls is looking at how fame and fortune can be fleeting, but it is the style rather than the subject matter that proves most memorable. The only significant problem with this film is the performance of the leading lady, who never manages to evoke either the desirability of Lola at her height of popularity or her despair on the bottom side of life. Peter Anton Walbrook plays the elderly Ludwig I, King of Bavaria and Will Quadflieg plays the musician Franz Liszt, two of Lola's most famous conquests. Oskar Werner plays a student in this 1955 French/German film. The true star becomes Ophuls' camera work, showing us what he wants us to see as he wants us to see it. He also takes advantage of the widescreen in several interesting ways. The last thing you need to know is that this appears to be a "semi-restored" version of Max Ophuls' legendary film. "Lola Montes," the director's only film made in Technicolor and CinemaScope, was originally 140 minutes long. The producers cut this down to 92 minutes and this videotape professes to be 110 minutes long. Work the math and it would seem 18 of the lost 48 minutes have been restored to this version. Hopefully more of what has been lost will magically pop up in the future.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Sept. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
With Lola Montès, Max Ophuls’ last completed film in 1955, the film-maker crowned a stunning series of 'late French’ films (La Ronde, Le Plaisir and Madame De…) and, in many ways, Lola pulled together all the sublime cinematic qualities of the earlier films. OK, gone is Christian Matras’ evocative black-and-white cinematography, (suitably?) replaced for the ‘epic scale’ Lola with the same man’s lush CinemaScope Eastmancolor colours, and perhaps Lola gives us rather less in the way of Ophuls’ defining long-tracking shot sequences, but we have much to replace these features, including the stunning, grand circus backdrop for Ophuls’ linking narrative and a typically sharp, (frequently) ironic screenplay by Jacques Natanson, based on the novel by Cécil Saint Laurent (itself based on the life of the mid-19th century real-life dancer and courtesan Lola Montez).

Where Lola Montès, arguably, scores over all Ophuls (even La Ronde, to which it bears a resemblance in this respect) is in the way it morphs between current and past 'realities’, using Peter Ustinov’s superb, cynical depiction of the circus ringmaster to guide us through Martine Carol’s sensationalised transition from Lola as shy, retiring youth to celebrated (and scandalous) ‘Spanish dancer’ and courtesan, 'plying her wares’ to the artistic, royal and political aristocracy ('That makes 42’) across Europe (and beyond). Ophuls’ use of the risky, 'high-wire act’-nature of the 'big top’ as a metaphor for Lola’s chosen life path (now a 'fallen woman’) is a stroke of genius, 'rammed home’ (in satirical terms) by Ustinov’s ringmaster, whose American Mammoth Circus comes across as akin to an incarnation of an exploitative tabloid newspaper (perhaps run by Ustinov’s equivalent of Piers Morgan!
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