44 Great Directors: Max Ophuls

“Paris, which had always amused me on holiday, was too lovely … emigration was no hardship, it was an outing. It offered the shining wet boulevards under the street lights, breakfast in Monmartre with cognac in your glass, coffee and lukewarm brioche, gigolos and prostitutes at night. … Everyone in the world has two fatherlands: his own and Paris.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Letter From an Unknown Woman/Earrings of Madame de…

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Earrings.

What Did I Watch: Caught.

Where Does He Fit: Caught leaves us trapped between two poles, both essentially identical in the same that going too far to the extreme of either political spectrum leaves you with tendencies of the other side. Both are manipulative towards Barbara Bel Geddes, but she’s no shrinking violet or a midge to be swatted. The material of a woman having to choose between a rich man who is awful and a poor one who is less so also turns into a battle of fan wars: do you like Robert Ryan or James Mason more? They’re playing their archetype to the hilt even as move towards a fascinatingly thorny ending.


Most Valuable Asset: The long tracking shot.
Most Excited For: Lola Montes.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Master of the ensemble, Robert Altman.


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