Criterion Collection: Lola Montes [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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The 19th-century courtesan recalls Franz Liszt and the king of Bavaria. Director Max Ophuls' last film.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are few films that I have seen which have approached cinematic perfection. 'Andrei Rublev' is one. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Stagger Lee
a wonderful film from one of the great directors.....this film was way ahead of its time when it was first released in the mid-fifties........ Read morePublished on 10 July 2014 by Pat Garrett
To answer my own question, perhaps this is NOT the very best from Max Ophüls, but it is surely close to being that, and it must certainly be his most sumptuously spectacular,... Read morePublished on 7 May 2014 by Ténès
As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the fully restored 'DVD' version of “Lola Montes”. And the BLU RAY is available in the States and France. Read morePublished on 27 Feb. 2014 by Mark Barry
visually spectacular for all the right reasons - to reflect character rather than empty show - this should be seen by any lover of cinema. Read morePublished on 26 July 2010 by 72trails of smoke
This is one of THE great movies of all time, and the culmination of Ophuls' career, and a movie one can watch time and time again. Read morePublished on 30 Mar. 2010 by Addison de Witt
this movie is excelent as all the french produntions of max ophuls also la ronde the digital print and sound very well donePublished on 29 Oct. 2009 by Carlos Parot Delsahut