Ronde, La

Director: Max Ophüls
Year Released: 1950
Rating: 3.0

A 'circular' treatment of various love affairs taking place in Vienna - the story starts and ends with the prostitute character (played by Simone Signoret) - with the love circus 'held together' by a very whimsical barker (Anton Walbrook). It's charming but flawed: Ophüls the technician is - as always - strongly focused on his camera's movements and there's a lot more attention (by either original playwright Arthur Schnitzler or the screenwriters … or both) devoted to the structure of the story than in the characters' individual stories, but the loaded cast manages to wring emotion out of their few select moments on screen. The view of sex is somewhat conflicted, too: it's a necessity but a troubling one, as some get emotionally rejected, some have trouble performing, some aren't grateful when it's over and all are contributing to the spread of the same 'social diseases' (a point 'muted' by this particular screen adaptation).