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Oyster-king Quaker cannot be impressed anymore. He is so rich that he even has a special butler holding his cigar while he is smoking. The only thing Quaker would be impressed by is if his daughter Ossi were to marry a real prince. He makes an offer to the poor prince Nucki, who sends his friend Josef to get a clear idea of the woman. Written by
Saw this yesterday at the "Konzerthaus", Vienna, with live music provided by a jazzy Belgian group called "Flat Earth Society". Without a doubt the best movie I've seen in quite a while. Highlights in this quasi-surrealistic romp (running a mere 63') include a meticulously choreographed "foxtrott epidemic" and a mass boxing-match amongst a benevolent society of billionaire's daughters. Ossi Oswalda (great name by the way), as the daughter of the titular "Oyster King", somehow manages to be tempestuous, spiteful, spoiled, endearing, lovable and sexy at the same time. A miracle of screen acting and directing. Stemming from 1919, the film reflects the coming of a new age of relative sexual freedom, female self-determination and the resignation of the aristocracy as the determining force of Central European society after the defeat of the World War ("Prinz Nucki", Ossi's intended, has fallen into the squalor of a one-room apartment). Lubitsch, at 27, reaching the pinnacle of his art from which he would not descend for the rest of his unique career.
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