Liebelei — A Rare Film by Max Ophüls This Wednesday at the Portage

The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:30 – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.

April 4
Directed by Max Ophüls • 1933
Vienna, 1900. Love blossoms between young lieutenant Fritz (Wolfgang Liebeneiner) and violinist’s daughter Christine (Magda Schneider), but his past affairs threaten to destroy their union. Significantly anticipating the milieu and atmosphere of Ophüls’s American masterpiece, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Liebelei was the director’s greatest success in his native Germany. By the time it opened in March 1933, Hitler had ascended to power, the distributor had removed the names of both Ophüls and playwright Arthur Schnitzler (both Jews) from the credits, and Ophüls had fled the country, embarking on a fugitive career that never returned to normalcy. He would return to adapting Schnitzler’s work nearly two decades afterwards in La ronde with equally romantic and enchanting results. (KW)
In German with English subtitles
88 min • Elite-Tonfilm-Produktion • 16mm from private collections
Short: “Any Little Girl That’s a Nice Little Girl” (Fleischer Screen Song, 1931) – 16mm


And don’t forget our about truly epic screening of The Ten Commandments–so epic, in fact, that our regular Wednesday program cannot contain it.

Special Saturday Presentation
Saturday, April 7 @ 7:00
Directed Cecil B. DeMille • 1956
A wonderfully overblown remake of his 1923 film of the same name, Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 The Ten Commandments (in VistaVision, Technicolor, and running nearly four hours long) was also the great director’s swan song to the silver screen (he retired shortly after suffering a heart attack on set atop a 107-foot ladder). DeMille died in 1959, but not before, as Variety put it, “throwing sex and sand at the eyes of his audience for twice as long as anyone in Hollywood had ever dared to.” The Ten Commandments’ merits as a piece of serious filmmaking may occasionally run dry, but nobody before or since has been able to achieve the level of ferocious terror and sensuality in a biblical epic seen here. Immensely popular on its release, it has also been screened on a Saturday in April on ABC since 1973, and re-released several times in 35 and 70mm (the latter billed as the totally bogus Super VistaVision, which cropped the top and bottom of the original negative to accommodate a wider 70mm frame). We’ll be presenting it as it was meant to be seen: in an original IB Technicolor print, with an intermission and DeMille’s impassioned introduction. With Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget, John Derek, Sir Cedric Hardwicke—and Vincent Price! (JA)
220 min, with intermission • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from private collections

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