Max Ophuls

La ronde

La ronde

Simone Signoret, Anton Walbrook, and Simone Simon lead a roundelay of French stars in Max Ophuls's delightful, acerbic adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler's controversial turn-of-the-century play Reigen. Soldiers, chambermaids, poets, prostitutes, aristocrats—all are on equal footing in this multicharacter merry-go-round of love and infidelity, directed with a sweeping gaiety as knowingly frivolous as it is enchanting, and shot with Ophuls's trademark mellifluous cinematography.

Film Info

  • Max Ophuls
  • France
  • 1950
  • 93 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  • Spine #443

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Susan White, author of The Cinema of Max Ophuls
  • Interview with Max Ophuls's son, Academy Award–winning filmmaker Marcel Ophuls
  • Interview with actor Daniel Gélin
  • Interview with film scholar Alan Williams
  • Correspondence between Sir Laurence Olivier and Heinrich Schnitzler (the playwright's son), illustrating the controversy surrounding the source play
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty

New cover by David Downton

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary featuring film scholar Susan White, author of The Cinema of Max Ophuls
  • Interview with Max Ophuls's son, Academy Award–winning filmmaker Marcel Ophuls
  • Interview with actor Daniel Gélin
  • Interview with film scholar Alan Williams
  • Correspondence between Sir Laurence Olivier and Heinrich Schnitzler (the playwright's son), illustrating the controversy surrounding the source play
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A new essay by film critic Terrence Rafferty

New cover by David Downton

La ronde
Cast
Anton Walbrook
The Meneur de jeu
Simone Signoret
The Prostitute
Serge Reggiani
The Soldier
Simone Simon
The Parlor Maid
Daniel Gélin
The Young Gentleman
Danielle Darrieux
The Young Wife
Fernand Gravey
The Husband
Odette Joyeux
The Sweet Young Thing
Jean-Louis Barrault
The Poet
Isa Miranda
The Actress
Gérard Philipe
The Count
Credits
Director
Max Ophuls
Based on the play by
Arthur Schnitzler
Adaptation by
Jacques Natanson
Adaptation by
Max Ophuls
Dialogue
Jacques Natanson
Music
Oscar Strauss
Sets
Jean d'Eaubonne
Cinematography
Christian Matras
Assistant director
Paul Feyder
Assistant director
Tony Abboyantz
Costumes
Georges Annenkov
Editing
Léonide Azar

From The Current

The Secret to Simone Signoret’s Staying Power
The Secret to Simone Signoret’s Staying Power

A politically engaged actor who refused to be commodified, this French icon showcased her piercing intelligence throughout four decades of unforgettable performances.

By Susan Hayward

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Simone Signoret

Actor

Simone Signoret
Simone Signoret

With her sultry sensuality, catlike features, and penetrating intelligence, Simone Signoret graced French cinema for more than thirty years. Throughout her film career, which began after World War II ended, this chameleonic talent shifted effortlessly between fierce imperiousness and affecting vulnerability, often within the same role. The product of a family of intellectuals, Signoret (née Kaminker—she switched to her mother’s maiden name during the war to obscure her Jewish roots) was the thinking man’s sex symbol. In the 1950s, she was known as much for the leftist politics she and her husband, Yves Montand (they were married until her death in 1985), outspokenly embraced as for such movies as La ronde, Casque d’or, and Diabolique. In 1959, she became the first French actress to win an Oscar, for the British crossover sensation Room at the Top. Her performance in that film as an unhappily married woman having an affair would prove iconic—years later, Time wrote that she was “everywoman’s Bogart, in a trench coat, dangling a cigarette.” Signoret continued to choose strong films during the sixties and seventies, including Stanley Kramer’s Ship of Fools (another Oscar nomination), Jean-Pierre Melville’s Army of Shadows, and Costa-Gavras’s The Confession. In her last decade, she turned to writing, including her popular autobiography, Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to Be, and a novel, Adieu, Volodya.