Best Movies by Farr

Lola Montes

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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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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"