A straightforward story about star-crossed lovers is lent additional weight by its circumstances: 'Liebelei' is set in Vienna about a decade before World War One; it was filmed in 1932, shortly before the Nazis came to power in Germany. As as result the film has an eerie 'calm before the storm' feeling. The clumsy subtitling and apparent skips in many scenes are distracting, but the film is still worth seeing.
Love,lust and tragedy. Elegant from start to finish. Simple-looking,strong and unforgettable production values regarding 19th century Wien that haven't aged a bit. And a very romantic use of the camera - what others have called fluid of his subsequent style.Magda Schneider has exactly the right kind of quality that lifts this story to such a beautiful piece of cinema.
An exceptional early Ophuls, equally concerned with brief, luminous glimpses of hope and the silent menace of looming tragedy. The success of the melodrama is sustained solely by the natural sentimentality of Magda Schneider, while the gauzy chiaroscuro ups the stakes, lending the whole film the warm sense of a half-remembered dream.
4.5 Great use of the pause at the beginning of Beethoven's 5th for the conductor to tell the father to come back in a half hour. Loved seeing the old cello case. Wonderful filming of the Viennese Waltz in restaurant & then at ball. Loved the father's meditation on his youthful freedom vs. his sister's captivity. Can see why the Nazis would suppress this meditation on the hypocrisy of the military.
I think I entered the film with unfair expectations, holding the film to the standards of an absolute favorite such as La Ronde. To say briefly, it does not match up well. Though this film still is of merit, containing its fair share of intrigue and drama that will keep you invested. Following an intertwining narrative of high society it manages tie things together well. Fitting, as I am reading Anna Karenina now.
Opulent, alive, vivid and utterly immersive. Even with a bad film transfer, scratchy dialogue and limited subtitles, the film manages to transport one to the disciplined German landscape of honor, secrets and betrayal. The initial opera scene pulls the viewer in immediately, while Ophuls' roaming camera seems to probe the characters' inner minds. Rich with wit and warmth amid tragedy. I need to see more Ophuls.