Letter from an Unknown Woman
Max Ophüls (May 6, 1902 - March 25, 1957) was a German born film director.
Max Ophüls was born as Max Oppenheimer in Saarbrücken, Germany. He was a stage actor but moved into theatre and then film production in the late 1920s. In 1927 his son Marcel was born. He worked throughout Germany. He directed his first film in 1931 with the comedy short Dann schon lieber Lebertran. A Jew, he emigrated to France in 1933 and on through Switzerland and Italy to the USA in 1941. He returned to Europe in 1950. He died of rheumatic heart disease in Hamburg and is buried in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. He had made just over twenty films.
Works His first Hollywood film was the Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. vehicle The Exile (1947), once established he went on to direct Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948),
(1949), and The Reckless Moment (1949) before his return to Europe.
Back in France he directed and co-wrote his two best works La ronde (1950) and Lola Montes (1955) as well as two other fine films (Le plaisir (1951) and Madame de... (1953)) which capped his career. All his works feature his distinctive smooth camera movements, complex crane and dolly sweeps and tracking shots. His most widely imitated technique involves the camera moving in a circle about a stationary subject.
Other films include:
De Mayerling à Sarajevo (1940) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Ophuls [Aug 2004]
La Ronde (1950) - Max OphülsReigen (1900), usually called La Ronde, still frequently presented, and made into a movie (1964), directed by Roger Vadim. Another filmization is by Max Ophüls. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Schnitzler [Dec 2004]
In a typical and famous decision, an American judge declared Max Ophuls' La Ronde (based on Schnitzler's play) obscene for the following reasons:That a film which panders to base human emotions is a breeding ground for sensuality, depravity, licentiousness and sexual immorality can hardly be doubted. That these vices represent a "clearand present danger" to the body social seems manifestly clear. (1) Ira H. Carmen, Movies, Censorship and the Law, 1966--via Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel
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