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    Lola Montes

    Lola Montes Poster
    Lola Montes Poster

    Released

    1955

    Runtime

    115

    Lola Montes

    What's it About

    Having lived a vibrant life as a courtesan in 19th-century Europe, world-weary Lola Montes (Carol) is now the star attraction of a traveling circus operated by a ringmaster (Ustinov) who prompts the audience to pepper her with questions. Flanked by flying acrobats, dwarves, and show horses, she relates to the carousel of paying customers how she bedded composer Franz Liszt (Will Quadflieg), a Bavarian king (Walbrook), and others, including her own mother’s lover (Ivan Desny).

    Why we love it

    Structured as a cycle of flashback vignettes and tableaux vivant, Ophuls’s masterful “Lola Montes” is a fictionalized biopic about a notorious dancer whose aspirations and affairs carried her across the landscape of Europe. A grand, opulent chronicle shot in vivid widescreen color, the film has been hailed as a classic thanks to Ophuls’s tour-de-force employment of 360-degree crane shots and elegantly serpentine camerawork, with Martine Carol’s tart recollections framed by circus pageantry.

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