Friday, January 15, 2010
Coming January 24 on TCM Imports: Max Ophuls' final film, LOLA MONTES
One of my favorite Turner Classic Movies features, "TCM Imports," will showcase Lola Montes, the last film of legendary director Max Ophuls, in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning, January 24th/25th, at 2:45 am Eastern/11:45 pm Pacific. Get your DVR or other device set to record, this is a must-see!
When first released in 1955, the film was a resounding flop. Apparently one of the few who championed Lola Montes was a young critic named Francois Truffaut. In the 1960s, on seeing Lola for the first time, critic Andrew Sarris called it "the greatest film of all time." Over the years, Lola gained both renown and reputation and was progressively restored to a version closer to Ophuls' original cut and vision. A newly restored version was shown at the New York Film Festival in 2008 and Roger Ebert wrote, "...it is breath-taking, an extravaganza of bright circus colors and Ophuls' fluid camera and in wide-screen cinemascope." The Criterion Collection will release the DVD set (including many extras) on February 16.
Much has been written and said about Lola - including that Ophuls predicts the cult of modern celebrity with his telling of the tale of a scandalous 19th century cabaret dancer famous for her many affairs. The film stars Martine Carol as Lola, Peter Ustinov, Anton Walbrook and Oskar Werner.
A footnote...it is said that the real-life Lola Montez was the inspiration for the saying, "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets."