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Marriage Circle
     

The Marriage Circle

Director: Ernst Lubitsch

Cast: Florence Vidor, Monte Blue, Marie Prevost

 

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Parisian doctor Monte Blue is madly in love with his wife Florence Vidor--so much so that many suspect that they aren't married at all! Vidor's best friend Marie Prevost is an incurable coquette; Marie's divorce-bound husband Adolphe Menjou hires detective Harry Myers to keep tabs on his wife. Inevitably, Prevost meets and flirts with the true-blue Blue. Meanwhile,

Overview

Parisian doctor Monte Blue is madly in love with his wife Florence Vidor--so much so that many suspect that they aren't married at all! Vidor's best friend Marie Prevost is an incurable coquette; Marie's divorce-bound husband Adolphe Menjou hires detective Harry Myers to keep tabs on his wife. Inevitably, Prevost meets and flirts with the true-blue Blue. Meanwhile, Blue's lecherous partner Creighton Hale sets his sights on innocent Vidor. Thanks to the misunderstandings of detective Myers, both Blue and Vidor are suspected of infidelity, but all ends well as doctor and wife are reunited and Prevost ends up with her male counterpart Hale. The first of Ernst Lubitsch's sophisticated sex farces, The Marriage Circle was reportedly Lubitsch's favorite film; he would remake it (and improve upon it tenfold) in 1932 as the sprightly musical One Hour With You, with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald. Both original and remake were based on Only a Dream, a play by Lothar Schmidt.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
It's open season for infidelity in The Marriage Circle, a classic silent comedy of manners from Ernst Lubitsch. Set in Vienna, it follows the manipulative scheming of two couples as the unhappily married wife of the quartet sets her sights on the husband of her happily married friend. A lovestruck colleague and a private detective add to this zesty blend of intrigue, flirtation, and misunderstanding, with plenty of hearty silent-film emoting from the entire cast. This was the German-born director's first American sex farce, yet the famed "Lubitsch touch" is already in evidence as he demonstrates his legendary flair for handling erotically charged material in a way that celebrates desire and keeps moralizing to a minimum. Though Lubitsch is better known for his later sound films, this important early work shows his mastery of silent cinema, with sparing use of inter-titles, sophisticated editing, and mise-en-scène that tells the story with a level of subtlety that was striking for its time and still stands up today. The Marriage Circle's wry sophistication disguises a slew of exceedingly healthy libidos, making it one of cinema's truly classic sex comedies.
All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
In its time, The Marriage Circle was a saucy, slightly racy sex-farce -- and something of a revelation coming from Ernst Lubitsch who, up to that time, had specialized in lush historical dramas. Seen today, it's a fascinating artifact of a by-gone era, representing at least two familiar figures in their early screen incarnations: Monte Blue in his days as a leading man and Adolphe Menjou as a jealous husband. But it also offers Florence Vidor, wife of King Vidor (and the more successful of the two at the time) and Marie Prevost in their time. And the "Lubitsch Touch," which seems to have sprung fully formed from the frames of this frothy little romantic trifle, which began a two-decade-plus string of ever-finer romantic comedies from the director. Here's the original, not just for the better-known remake One Hour With You, but also much of his work right up through Cluny Brown in 1946.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2000
UPC:
0014381941524
Original Release:
1924
Rating:
NR
Source:
Image Entertainment
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time:
1:25:00

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter Index
1. Main Title; Another Day [8:23]
2. The Perfect Happiness of Married Life [11:25]
3. A Glimpse of His Partner's Wife [3:56]
4. The Doctor Is Out [8:37]
5. A Dinner Party [12:23]
6. Late-Night Rendezvous [7:29]
7. Playing the Fool [6:38]
8. The Facts [4:32]
9. Caught [7:14]
10. The Blame Game [8:01]
11. The Dreaded End of a Dreadful Day [6:16]
12. End Credits [:14]

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