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The Tragic Romance of Max Ophüls’ "Liebelei"

Mubi is showing Max Ophüls' Liebelei (1933) from November 9 - December 8, 2016 in most countries around the world.While the primary players in Max Ophüls’ 1933 film Liebelei may be introduced at the same opera house, seeing the same performance of Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio,” the real drama is produced away from the stage, though it is rarely any less histrionic. As secretive private passions and illicit romances are revealed, so softly and elegantly in what would become the presentational norm for Ophüls, a genuinely pure, ultimately heartbreaking, relationship emerges from the scandalous furor. When philandering German Lieutenant Fritz Lobheimer (Wolfgang Liebeneiner) meets and falls for Christine Weyring (Magda Schneider), the daughter of an opera musician, he is commendably quick to break off his essentially lustful involvement with the adulterous Baroness von Eggersdorff (Olga Tschechowa). Unlike Arthur Schnitzler’s source play (Schnitzler, who would also provide the foundation for Ophüls’ excellent 1950 film,

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