|Martine Carol and Anton Walbrook in the Bavarian Royal palace|
"When such a woman spends more than five minutes with a man, that's enough to start rumors."
In her later years, the still attractive dancer and notorious lady Lola Montes (Martine Carol), is exhibited as an attraction in a circus, with the various acts presenting tableaus relating to her scandalous life. Now and then she thinks back to things that happened in her past: her affair with Franz Liszt (Will Quadflieg); her early marriage to Lt. James (Ivan Desny of Anastasia), who was her late father's adjutant; and her becoming the mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria (Anton Walbrook of Gaslight), a situation which nearly drives the whole country into a civil war before she flees in a coach with a handsome young student (Oskar Werner). Her infamous life and behavior have now literally turned her into a sideshow freak.
|Martine Carol and Peter Ustinov|
Lola Montes is dramatically bankrupt, with one-dimensional characters that never really engage the attention or sympathies of the audience. For much of the movie cinematographer Christian Matras seems to have trouble filling the CinemaScope frame with attractive compositions or even covering the action in a compelling or professional fashion. Faces often seem to be photographed through screens or lattices. For some reason there is s big improvement in the scenes that take place in Bavaria, which are striking. However, most of the settings and the lighting schemes throughout the movie are eye-appealing.
|Martine Carol and Oskar Werner|
Verdict: The material was certainly there for a great movie, but this is not the film it should have been. **1/4.