The Exile

The first American film of Max Ophuls, The Exile is a swashbuckler recounting the exploits (or exploiting the account) of King Charles II (played by Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) in pre-Restoration Holland. Enjoyable for the “Tarzanics” (as James Agee put it) of Fairbanks, the film is graced, saved, made important by the lyrical direction for which Ophuls (Letter To an Unknown Woman, Lola Montes...) is known.
“Ophuls was a master of the flowing style. With his...extremely mobile camera, he never failed to establish an incomparably dense atmosphere. ‘He was obsessed by a passion for decor...and for tracking shots and crane shots.' (Georges Sadoul) The characteristic theme woven through his entire work is the impossibility of a lasting love attachment and the way it is placed in danger by frivolity, superficiality, pretense and the simple passing of time.” (“German Film Directors in Hollywood,” Goethe Institute)

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