BAMPFA Collection Print
BAMPFA Student Committee Pick
Martine Carol, Peter Ustinov, Anton Walbrook, Oskar Werner,
Just added! A free prescreening lecture by series curator David Thomson >
In Max Ophuls’s last film, narrative is first de- and then beautifully reconstructed. The film recounts in flashbacks the life of the courtesan Lola Montez (Martine Carol), who ended her days as a circus attraction in a series of gaudy tableaux depicting her scandalous life. Peter Ustinov, extraordinary in the role of the ringmaster, invites the audience to ask “the most indelicate questions” of this “monster of cruelty with the eyes of an angel.” She is the cinema’s femme fatale come full circle; she is the artist himself, who similarly laid himself open with this film.