La Ronde (1950)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

France, 1950.  Films Sacha Gordine, Janus Film.  Adaptation by , Max Ophuls, Dialogue by Jacques Natanson, based on the play Reigen by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1951.  

Max Ophuls adapts Arthur Schnitzler’s play to delightful effect in this beautiful film. It begins with playing host to the audience, setting the scene in turn-of-the-century Vienna and popping up between scenes as various characters in order to facilitate the many crazy love affairs that are displayed.  Each scene is played with two people, one of whom progresses to the next scene in a roundabout style that covers all manner of illicit sexual activity between soldiers, married women, prostitutes, poets and aristocrats. As always, Ophuls glides his camera through the entire operation with exceptional ease, and gets pristine performances out of his cast, a veritable Who’s Who of fifties French stardom: (a standout), Simone Signoret, , and .

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