Roving with his dazzlingly mobile camera around the decadent ballrooms, bucolic countryside retreats, urban bordellos, and painter’s studios of late nineteenth-century French life, Max Ophuls brings his astonishing visual dexterity and storytelling bravura to this triptych of tales by Guy de Maupassant about the limits of spiritual and physical pleasure. Featuring a stunning cast of French stars (including Danielle Darrieux, Jean Gabin, and Simone Simon), Le plaisir pinpoints the cruel ironies and happy compromises of life with a charming and sophisticated breeziness. —The Criterion Collection
Max Ophüls (born Maximillian Oppenheimer, 6 May 1902, Saarbrücken, Germany – 25 March 1957, Hamburg, Germany) was an influential German-born film director who worked in Germany, the United States and France. He made nearly thirty films.
He started his career as a stage actor in 1919 but moved into theatre production in 1924. Two years later, he became creative director of the Burgtheater in Vienna and, having had 200 plays to his credit, turned to film production in 1929, when he became a dialogue director under Anatole Litvak at UFA in Berlin. He worked throughout Germany and directed his first film in 1931, the comedy short Dann schon lieber Lebertran (literally In This Case, Rather Cod-Liver Oil).
Of his early films, the most acclaimed is Liebelei (1933), which included a number of the characteristic elements for which he was to become known: luxurious sets, a feminist attitude, and a duel between a younger and older man.
Predicting… read more
Though didn't captivate me the way other Ophulss' have, It still contains moments of complete bliss countered with a helping of emotional potency! The funeral scene will stay with me for a while. I feel like this one will grow on me but time will see. Still, as it is, it wasn't love at first sight. Yet again, isn't the best loves the ones you have to train and nurture? Anyway, wonderful movie!
This really is a triptych: two shorter--though no less sumptuous and thrilling--tales framing one longer, brilliant tale about le plaisir. It helps if you've read any Maupassant before, though that certainly isn't a requirement to enjoy this gorgeous, flamboyant film. Danielle Darrieux is one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the silver screen.
A look at some of the best original French posters for the films in Film Forum’s current series: The French Old Wave.
Familiar Ophuls period-piece roundelay, featuring three stories (all adapted from Guy de Maupassant). In the first, an elderly man hides behind a mask and dances furiously at balls until he passes… read review