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directed by Max Ophuls






Based on the books by Cecil St. Laurent.

New Orleans, the 19th century. A baroque circus is dramatizing the scandalous life of the courtisan Lola Monte—starring Lola herself. Answering the audience’s most indiscreet questions, as the ringmaster provides commentary, Lola must look back on the highlights of her life: from her girlhood when her mother's lover became attached to the daughter; her unhappy marriage and its aftermath; romances with composer Franz Liszt, abduction by a Russian general; her affairs across the landscape of Europe with the great and noble; her thwarted aspirations as a dancer; and her romance with King Ludwig I, which led to her being made Countess of Landsfeld, and, later, to his abdication. Forced to flee, she has been reduced to poverty that has led to this circus. Will her tragic end be the final attraction: the leap of death ?

DRAMA/HISTORICAL HD Remastered & 35mm - B&W - 1955/2008 - FRANCE - 105min



CAST Martine Carol, Peter Ustinov, Anton Walbrook, Henri Guisol, Lise Delamare, Oscar Werner, Paulette Dubost, Claude Pinoteau




Max Ophuls, born Maximillian Oppenheimer on May 6, 1902 in Sarre (The Sarre being independent until 1935, date of its reattachment to Germany). He starts his career as an actor in 1919, and then becomes a famous stage director in the 1920’s. After having directed more than 200 plays, he gives up on theatre for cinema. He directs his first short film in 1930 in Germany. Max Ophuls takes refuge in France in 1933 and becomes a French citizen in 1938. After 1940’s defeat, he goes to America passing by Italy and Switzerland. In 1950, he returns in France, he directs there his last films before going back to Germany in 1956, where he then again works as a stage director before passing away in march 1957.


Festivals / Awards

2008 Cannes Classics Opening.
Selection, NYC Film festival 1963, 1968, 2008.
This film has been restored by La Cinémathèque française in collaboration with Les Films du Jeudi, Les Films de la Pléiade, Marcel Ophuls, Thomson foundation for film and television heritage, The franco-American Cultural Fund, DGA – MPAA – SACEM - WGA.
Thanks to the sponsorship of L’Oréal, agnès b. with the support of Filmmuseum Münchnen, La Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique, La Cinémathèque de la Ville de Luxembourg and the technical advices of François Ede.
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