The story takes place in medieval France. Poet-rogue Francois Villon, sentenced to hang by King Louis XI for writing derogatory verses about him, is offered a temporary reprieve. His ... See full summary »
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"The Merry Jail", which now appears on the wonderful Criterion DVD edition of Ernst Lubitsch's comic masterpiece "Trouble In Paradise", serves as an
interesting introduction to the director's early years as a German silent film director and a first look at his handling of complex, comic relationships between men and women.
The roughly fifty minute film, involves a couple and their maid who all sneak off to the same party to rekindle, confront and find new love. It's not a great film by any stretch, and is often confusing with humor that is dated. However, the real treat of the film is the last fifteen minutes when Lubitsch ties together the stray threads of the story and ties them into (a not necessarily neat) bow.
For an introduction to Lubitsch's work, please stay away from this film and watch "Trouble In Paradise" or "The Shop Around The Corner", but to see the
beginnings of an influential director, "The Merry Jail" is an adequate classroom.
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