In Fritz Lang's only movie made in France, a good-for-nothing carousel operator, Liliom (Charles Boyer) wreaks havoc on his own life and those of the women who love him. When he falls for beautiful and innocent Julie, Liliom trades in his carnival life and the unrequited love of carnival owner Madame Muscat for domestic bliss. But later, when he botches a robbery attempt, and cannot face his pregnant wife, Julie, he attempts to kill himself. But even that fails. Liliom is refused by the strict gatekeepers of Heaven. The gatekeepers show Liliom films of his misdeeds, including footage of him beating Julie, and Liliom is sent straight to purgatory. There he awaits the sixteenth birthday of his daughter, for which the angels have chosen to give him a second chance to make good.
The mixture of gritty realism and expressionist fantasy in LILIOM make this sentimental drama one of Lang's most moving films. Filled with humor and pathos, the settings of both the carnival and of heaven are deftly evoked. In addition, the humor that Lang evokes when the bureaucracy of the police is juxtaposed with that of heaven, creates a startling comic effect while simultaneously making a powerful social commentary.
Fantasy Worlds |
Film Noir |
Love Affairs |
Love Story |
Musical Sequences |
Sci-Fi / Horror / Fantasy |
Theatrical Release: May 15, 1934 (Paris)
LILLIOM was filmed in Paris in 1933.
Many version of this movie have been made; the most notable is the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical CAROUSEL.