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Lola Montès (1955)

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Biopic of adventurer Lola Montès who ends up as a circus attraction after being romantically involved with famous European men.

Director:

Max Ophüls (as Max Ophuls)

Writers:

Cécil Saint-Laurent (based on the novel by: "La vie extraordinaire de Lola Montès") (as Cécil Saint Laurent), Max Ophüls (scenario) (as Max Ophuls) | 3 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martine Carol ... Lola Montes
Peter Ustinov ... Circus Master
Anton Walbrook ... Ludwig I, King of Bavaria
Henri Guisol ... Horseman Maurice
Lise Delamare Lise Delamare ... Mrs. Craigie, Lola's mother
Paulette Dubost ... Josephine, The maid
Oskar Werner ... Student
Jean Galland ... Private Secretary
Will Quadflieg ... Franz Liszt
Héléna Manson Héléna Manson ... Lieutenant James' Sister (as Helena Manson)
Germaine Delbat Germaine Delbat ... Stewardess
Carl Esmond ... Doctor (as Willy Eichberger)
Jacques Fayet Jacques Fayet ... Steward
Friedrich Domin ... Circus Manager
Werner Finck ... Wisböck, The artist
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Storyline

The film tells the tragic story of Lola Montès, a great adventurer who becomes the main attraction of a circus after being the lover of various important European men. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The frank and shocking story of the world's most famous woman of scandal! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | West Germany

Language:

French | German | English

Release Date:

23 December 1955 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Lola Montès See more »

Filming Locations:

Hohentauern, Austria See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,569, 12 October 2008

Gross USA:

$120,306

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$303,175
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (Restored version)| 4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Max Ophüls surrounded Martine Carol (Lola Montès) with a solid cast, headed by Anton Walbrook as King Ludwig I, Oskar Werner as a student revolutionary, and Sir Peter Ustinov as the Ring Master. He shot this movie in Germany, Austria, and France in three different versions, French, German, and English (Ustinov wrote the English-language dialogue). Then he worked with three different editors, each in his own room, on the three different versions. See more »

Goofs

When the Circus Master first tries to recruit Lola, he lists San Francisco as an important North American city, and includes Buffalo Bill in a list of major circus figures. This scene is set shortly before Montez left for Bavaria, so it must be late 1845 or early 1846. San Francisco was called Yerba Buena until 1847, and the name Buffalo Bill was first applied in the 1860s to William F. Cody, who was born in 1846. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Circus Master: And now, Mesdames et Messieurs, the moment you've all been waiting for. The most sensational act of the century. Entertainment, emotion, action, history. Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentlemen, meine Damen und Herren, a creature a hundred times more murderous than any beast in our menagerie. A bloodthirsty monster with the eyes of an angel. Ravaged hearts, squandered fortunes, the saraband of lovers, scepters, crowns, an authentic revolution.
Female Circus Jugglers: Authentic!
Circus Master: Passion and glory, ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The English version was intended for international release and ran at 140 min. The public reaction after the world premiere in Paris was riotous, and led to police intervention and production cuts of four scenes in the German and French versions, and that the English version was never shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le Gai Savoir (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

Give it a chance
13 September 2004 | by gosparxSee all my reviews

Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge!" owes something to Lola Montes.

The movie has its moments -- it worked for me as a meditation on the exploitation of love, and the exploitation of despair. Some have commented on the wooden Martine Carol performance, but I thought that was the point. Lola Montes is a blank slate onto whom her admirers project what they want to see. She's vibrant and captivating only to men who want her. And why do they want her? The endless stream of men willing to pay a dollar to kiss her hand -- they want her only because so many other men have wanted her, famous men. It's not about getting a piece of Lola the person, it's about getting a piece of Lola the brand. She's a product (in a cage!) marketed by Ustinov. They have a creepily symbiotic relationship -- the huckster needs his product, and the product needs to be sold.

Before she sells out to Ustinov, Lola lives for love, exploits it for all she's worth, and is exploited for all she's worth. In despair, she turns to Ustinov's show, where she daily and literally recreates her fall from the heights of romance to the tawdry center ring, where her life is exposed to question and ridicule from the cheap seats.

Not a bad flick. I thought the cheesy storytelling techniques -- the flashbacks, the elements of predictability (of course she's going to meet the King of Germany) her "dangerously weak heart" and the concerned doctor -- were ham handed by design, slyly self-mocking. Lola Montes is a movie worth seeing and thinking about.


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