Anton Walbrook, Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, Simone Simon,
Set in the Vienna of the waltz, this exquisite and witty film describes love’s ceaseless roundabout, starting with a prostitute (Simone Signoret), who loves a soldier (Serge Reggiani), who leaves her for a chambermaid (Simone Simon), who . . . etc., etc., until the story comes back to the prostitute. Here “the normal narrow view of movie stories, always going forward towards destiny and resolution, is abandoned in favor of the more mocking designs of hazard, obliqueness, and digression, a dance in which the dancers do not hear the beat but in which they revert helplessly to where they began, older and no wiser” (David Thomson).