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The Oyster Princess (1919) More at IMDbPro »Die Austernprinzessin (original title)


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Hanns Kräly (writer)
Ernst Lubitsch (writer)
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Release Date:
26 June 1919 (Germany) See more »
An American heiress seeks the hand of an impoverished German prince. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Towards America See more (16 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Victor Janson ... Mister Quaker - oyster-king of America

Ossi Oswalda ... Oss - Quaker's daughter

Harry Liedtke ... Prince Nucki
Julius Falkenstein ... Josef - a friend of Nucki
Max Kronert ... Seligsohn - the Matchmaker
Curt Bois ... Conductor (as Kurt Bois)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hans Junkermann ... (uncredited)
Albert Paulig ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Ernst Lubitsch 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Hanns Kräly  writer
Ernst Lubitsch  writer

Original Music by
William Davies (1992)
Cinematography by
Theodor Sparkuhl 
Production Design by
Rochus Gliese 
Kurt Richter 
Other crew
Kurt Waschneck .... technical director

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Die Austernprinzessin" - Germany (original title)
"My Lady Margarine" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
58 min | 58 min (20 fps) | Spain:60 min (DVD edition)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Towards America, 1 May 2010
Author: Cineanalyst

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 history—an 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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