Mrs Erlynne, the mother of Lady Windermere - her daughter does not know about her - wants to be introduced in society, so that she can marry Lord Augustus Lorton. Lord Windermere, who ... See full summary »
Lieutenant Niki of the Austrian royal guard has a new girlfriend, Franzi. He's crazy about her and is smiling at her while on duty in the street. King Adolf and his daughter Princess Anna ... See full summary »
Because the Baron of Chanterelle wants to preserve his family line, he forces his timid nephew Lancelot to choose one of the village maidens to wed. Lancelot flees to a monastery to escape ... See full summary »
Robert and Beth Gordon are married but share little. He runs into Sally at a cabaret and the Gordons are soon divorced. Just as he gets bored with Sally's superficiality, Beth strives to ... See full summary »
Cecil B. DeMille
Gaston finally succeeds as a dramatist and decides to leave his wife and child for another woman. When the child dies, the finger is pointed at him and he winds up as a destitute before all is revealed.
Young Pauline is left a lot of money when her wealthy uncle dies. However, her uncle's secretary has been named as her guardian until she marries, at which time she will officially take ... See full summary »
Andrei lives a secluded life with his aunt, studying and thinking about his now-deceased mother. His friend Tsenin is concerned, and tries to get Andrei to accompany him to social events. ... See full summary »
The judge in a Danish town sees his illegitimate daughter facing a trial for the murder of her newborn child, and is rather sure that she will be sentenced to death. She became pregnant ... See full summary »
Carl Theodor Dreyer
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
Ernst Lubitsch helped open the American market to German cinema with "Madame DuBarry", re-titled "Passion" there, and the director himself emigrated to the US early in the 1920s to direct Mary Pickford and where he continued to have a successful career. "The Oyster Princess", released the same year in Germany as "Madame DuBarry", makes fun of the director's would-be new homeland. Although tongue-in-cheek, the film shows that a rich aristocracy with their excessive luxury exists in the US and wasn't peculiarly part French or European historyan aristocracy created by industry. All that's missing is the traditional title, which is just what the oyster princess in the film seeks through marriage. Victor Janson is especially amusing as the fat, lazy and straight-faced oyster king of America, who is no longer impressed and who has herds of servants to do every small task for him. Besides the American parody and absurdity, much of the film's comedy and plot stem from mistaken identity, which was also the case in Lubitsch's other early comedies: "The Merry Jail" (1917), "I Don't Want to Be a Man" (1918-20) and "The Doll" (1919), as well as others.
The 35mm restored print from the F.W. Murnau Foundation is vastly superior to the copy I'd seen years ago on video; through it, Lubitsch's already-by-1919 polished filmmaking is more apparent (although, of course, lesser so than his later work). There's a triptych shot of dancing feet, some good visual comedic timing through editing, reaction shots and detail close-ups of characters, and some good staging throughout. Even the keyhole shots and the jump cuts during the unison waiting at dinner look okay. An extended fox trot sequence stands out, especially for being a musical dance in a "silent" movie. Although by, at least, the end of the silent era, musical numbers were becoming common despite the lack of synchronized sound; additionally, Lubitsch made musicals once the talkies came. The humor is sometimes broad and very unsubtle, and the filmmaking isn't always technically perfect, but this is an appealing and amusing early effort by Lubitsch.
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