Liliom (1934) - Rotten Tomatoes

Liliom (1934)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

+Liliom, Ferenc Molnar's bittersweet fantasy play, was first filmed in Hollywood in 1930, with Charles Farrell as ne'er-do-well carnival barker Liliom and Rose Hobart as his long-suffering wife Julie. While that version is not available for public viewing, the 1935 French-language version directed by Fritz Lang and starring Charles Boyer is currently being offered by several home-video warehouses--albeit in an undubbed, unsubtitled print. Boyer plays Liliom, who runs the carousel at a Budapest amusement park. He impulsively quits his job when he falls in love with mill-worker Julie (Madeleine Ozeray). A terrible husband and provider, Liliom panics when he discovers he's about to become a father. He enters into a get-rich-quick robbery scheme with his unsavory pal Alfred (Alcover), but the plan goes awry. Rather than allow himself to be arrested, Liliom kills himself, whereupon his soul is transported via an art-deco express train to the waiting room of Heaven. A celestial judge determines that Liliom will not get his wings until he returns to earth to do one good deed. Liliom materializes before his now-teenaged daughter, and tries to give her a star that he's stolen from heaven; when she panics, he impulsively slaps her. Considering himself a failure, Liliom wearily heads for Purgatory, but a coda shows that his visit has done a world of good for both his widow and his daughter. Liliom was later musicalized by Rodgers & Hammerstein as Carousel.


Charles Boyer
as Liliom Zadowski
Robert Arnoux
as Strong Arm
Raoul Marco
as Detective
Antonin Artaud
as Knife Grinder
Odette Florelle
as Mme. Muskat
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Liliom

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1)

M. Boyer enjoys excellent support in Mile. Ozeray.

Full Review… | October 28, 2014
New York Times
Top Critic

Fantastic elements are well-handled by the normally ice-cold realist Lang.

Full Review… | October 28, 2014
TV Guide

A lovely addition to the Lang filmography. It reveals a less harsh, less paranoid filmmaker.

Full Review… | February 24, 2012
Combustible Celluloid

Boyer makes for a fine lovable louse, giving the film gusto.

Full Review… | March 4, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A major work, a masterpiece.

Full Review… | February 8, 2007
Film Freak Central

It's both better than its earlier reputation, which was based on the cut version, and yet still disappointing in some ways.

Full Review… | July 19, 2006
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Liliom


remake of a 1930 early talkie first directed by frank borzage this time helmed by the gr8 master fritz lang.

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

Watched this on a whim. I really wanted it to be better. I didn't find the plot to be interesting, and the I really hated Liliom's character. While it may stick true to the source, I despised Liliom himself. I did, however, enjoy the old special effects. It's amazing what was accomplished back then.

Rick Baxter
Rick Baxter

Liliom Quotes

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