On a technical level this is well ahead of its time - an Italian-ified whirlwind melodrama of old Hollywood good-girl-turned-tragic-starlet proportions. Could definitely see it as a pre-cursor to films like The Red Shoes or It's a Wonderful Life, considering the seriously dark undertones, but found it hard to believe giant square-jawed Gaby as the innocent schoolgirl when she looked like she was playing the mum.
Apasionante drama que busca el germen trágico de su protagonista principal, una mujer destinada a la orfandad, no solo maternal, sino toda aquella que tenga que ver con un lazo sentimental o emocional. Ophuls retrata a una mujer condenada a la soledad, víctima de su amoralidad y que encadena desgracia a personajes que la rodean. Otra bondad del filme, la estructura narrativa y ese engranaje de escenas casi poético.
Can almost serve as a portable encyclopedia of film style, like Ophuls was saying "Here's as much beauty and meaning as I can create with camera movement, with composition and cutting-here's the very limit of my imagination, and of technology, in 1934." One of those early-sound-era dynamos where you see the expressive analogues to language in a kind of rivalry with the dialogue. Endpoint: Citizen Kane?
Some of the most creative camera work I've ever seen. The first act had me in a frenzy. It did slow a bit in the second but only to provide a wonderfully painstaking melodram! Gaby really can't catch a break. Even when she's at her most successful. Ophuls created cinematic dynamite with this one!
For all its melodrama (invalid stair falls, car accidents, general hysteria), weird lapses in quality and continuity, and Miranda's and Benassi's woodenness (especially his), Ophuls creates a chilling glimpse at the cost of fame and the price we pay for outward happiness and success. Although he was to develop this far more successfully in later films, the final scene brilliantly illustrates the fickleness of fame.