Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Max Ophuls's reputation as one of the great directors of cinema stems not from the contents of his films, which was often rather flimsy, but from their form. A virtuoso of the directing style that emphasized the Mise-En-Scene, his camera was incredibly fluid, constantly moving in an intoxicating array of tracking shots, crane shots, tilts and pans. -Epharim Katz, The Film Encyclopedia

 Letter from an Unknown Woman

Ophuls's foremost stylistic trait is his love for the moving camera. Whenever possible, he liked to tell his story with long sinuous takes lasting for several minutes. But this constant movement isn't merely decorative or showing off. Decor, in Ophuls's film, is all important, and in restlessly exploring his sets, he is demonstrating how his characters are defined, and often constrained by their surroundings.-Philip Kemp, 501 Movie Directors

The Reckless Moment

Ophuls's plots are not are not linear stories but a series of vignettes, held together either by the setting or an object. By deemphasizing the story, Ophuls eliminates key structural balances, comparisons and contrasts of similar actions in different circumstances or different actions in similar ones. Such balancing takes the viewer directly to the center of Ophuls moral statement on love, feelings and social customs.-Gerald Mast, A Short History of Movies

Earrings of Madame de...

No one had more sympathy for love than Ophuls, but no one knew as well how lovers remained unknown, stangers-David Thomson, A Biographical Dictionary of Film

 Lola Montes

It's interesting to think the same director made the creepy noir The Reckless Moment and the visually stunning Lola Montes, the romantic tragedy Letter from an Unknown Woman and the aristocratic drama The Earrings of Madame de....  However, his films may need, but certainly deserve, repeated screenings and evaluation to truly appreciate.-The writer of this blog


  1. I must say that I am not terribly impressed with Max Ophuls. His stories have a tendency to annoy me, typically with a crisis that could easily have been avoided or by having root for creepy women.

  2. It did help for may appreciation to watch them all closely together. The Reckless Moment was definitely my favorite.

  3. On another note, I don't know how many Turner Classic Movies fans we have here but with the recent passing of host Robert Osbourne (who will be sorely missed), TCM seems to be in a quandry about who to replace him with. For whatever reason, it seems like the heir apparent Ben Mankiewicz doesn't want the job. So, apparently in anticipation of Robert's retiring, TCM has been trying out various guest hosts over the last few weeks including Alec Baldwin, Dana Delaney, and even Ron Perlman. They seem to have settled on a young lady named Tiffany Vasquez,who won TCM's Ultimate Fan contest a few years ago, but she just doesn't do it for me. So I hereby declare that we start a campaign to get 'Chris, a librarian' installed as the new TCM host. Who's with me????

  4. I think we have a stalemate because my vote goes to Ryan, an accountant! But yes, Robert Osbourne will be missed.

  5. In all seriousness, I'm surprised some hipster e-zine hasn't approached you about becoming their resident film critic.