EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|THE MARRIAGE CIRCLE (director: Ernst Lubitsch; screenwriters: Paul Bern/from the play Only A Dream by Lothar Goldschmidt; cinematographer: Charles Van Enger; music: Keith Taylor; cast: Adolph Menjou (Prof. Josef Stock), Florence Vidor (Charlotte Braun), Monte Blue (Dr. Franz Braun), Marie Prevost (Mizzi Stock), Creighton Hale (Dr. Gustav Mueller), Harry Myers (Detective), Dale Fuller (Neurotic Patient), Esther Ralston (Miss Hofer); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Ernst Lubitsch; Image Entertainment; 1924-silent)|
|"Hit the spot back in the day and
has value today of capturing a vanishing era."
by Dennis Schwartz
second American film of the German-born Ernst
Lubitsch ("Monte Carlo"/"Design for Living"/"The Shop
Around the Corner"), and his first silent American
comedy. It's adapted by Paul Bern from the
play Only A Dream by Lothar Goldschmidt.
The classic domestic comedy of manners, which
introduced a new style of comedy to American viewers,
was inspired by Chaplin's A Woman of Paris (1923). In
1932 it was remade as the musical One Hour With You,
with Lubitsch directing and assisted by George Cukor.
The sophisticated lightweight farce of
misunderstandings, infidelities, flirtations,
jealousy, and of suitors bringing roses to the ladies,
hit the spot back in the day and has value today of
capturing a vanishing era.
Vienna among a few bourgeois academic couples.
Professor Stock (Adolph Menjou)
and his bickering wife Mizzi (Marie Prevost)
are locked into a loveless marriage. Mizzi's best
friend Charlotte (Florence Vidor)
is newly married to medical man, Dr.
Franz Braun (Monte Blue), and is experiencing
marital bliss. Mizzi unsuccessfully flirts with
Franz, after feigning an illness, while Franz's lecherous
colleague Dr. Mueller (Creighton
Hale) is smitten with Charlotte and tries to
seduce her when she becomes unsure of hubby.
mistakenly thinks her Franz is interested in Miss
Hofer (Esther Ralston) and asks for Mizzi's help
to keep an eye on her. The cold Professor Stock
hires a private detective (Harry
Myers) to spy on his wife, as he's counting
on obtaining information of an infidelity to get a
divorce. But the detective bumbles matters by
misunderstanding what he's seeing, as the innocent
Franz and Charlotte are suspected of infidelities
and the ones of questionable motives are not
It's a good introduction to the director's celebrated style, which came to be known as "the Lubitsch touch"--a visual light-hearted sense of lyricism and a pleasant wit.
REVIEWED ON 1/8/2013 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ