Access to the full text of the entire article is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Ophüls, Max (1902–1957) By Pringle, Thomas Patrick

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1701-1
Published: 01/10/2017
Retrieved: 23 July 2024, from


Max Ophüls is an important critic and filmmaker of the postwar period, known for his opulent set design, kinetic long-takes, and proto-feminist melodramas, a source of inspiration for the French New Wave. Born into a family of wealthy Jewish textile industrialists in Saarbrücken, Germany, the young stage director changed surnames from Oppenheimer to Ophüls to spare his relatives the shame of his pursuing a career in the arts. He directed five films in Germany before fleeing to Paris after the burning of the Reichstag in 1933. He subsequently escaped Europe in 1941 and joined the Jewish émigré directors in Hollywood. After several years of unemployment, Ophüls directed his best-known American features: The Exile (1948) and Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948).

content locked



Article DOI



Citing this article:

Pringle, Thomas Patrick. Ophüls, Max (1902–1957). Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

Copyright © 2016-2024 Routledge.