We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.



Of the European filmmakers who fled Hitler’s Europe for Hollywood, few had as difficult a time as Max Ophüls. The German-born Frenchman reached L.A. in 1941 but didn’t complete a movie until 1947. (Among the director’s nemeses was Howard Hughes, who fired him from Vendetta.) Yet the four features Ophüls made before returning home have held up well; 1949’s The Reckless Moment seems particularly contemporary. This tale of a mother who helps hide the corpse of her daughter’s lover was remade in 2001 as The Deep End, with the daughter updated as a gay son. In the original, Joan Bennett plays the mother, and James Mason is the blackmailer who ultimately becomes her protector. A crackling story told in long, fluid takes—an Ophüls trademark—the movie is also a trenchant analysis of the social structure of the country he would leave for good after completing the picture. It screens at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677. (Mark Jenkins)