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Merry-Go-Round (1923)

 -  Drama  -  3 September 1923 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 182 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

A nobleman, posing as a necktie salesman, falls in love with the daughter of a circus puppeteer, even though he is already married to the daughter of his country's war minister.

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, (uncredited)

Writers:

, (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Merry-Go-Round (1923)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Cesare Gravina ...
Edith Yorke ...
George Hackathorne ...
...
Schani Huber
Dale Fuller ...
Lillian Sylvester ...
Mrs. Aurora Rossreiter
Spottiswoode Aitken ...
Minister of War / Gisella's Father
Dorothy Wallace ...
Countess Gisella Von Steinbruck
Albert Edmondson ...
Nepomuck Navrital (as Al Edmondson)
Albert Conti ...
Rudi / Baron von Leightsinn
Charles King ...
Nicki (as Charles L. King)
Fenwick Oliver ...
Eitel
Sidney Bracey ...
Gisella's Groom
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Storyline

Life's merry-go-round goes full tilt for Agnes, a virtuous carny at Vienna's Prater just before the Great War. Her father is abused by their cruel boss, Huber, who may force himself on Agnes. A Count who's engaged to the daughter of the minister of defense chats up Agnes one night while he's slumming; she thinks he's Franz, a necktie salesman, and she falls in love with him. Is he using charm and guile to seduce her? Plus there's Bartholomew, a hunchback who's a barker at the Prater; his love for Agnes is unrequited. Are the fates blind or is there reward for virtue? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 September 1923 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amores de Príncipe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During production, Erich von Stroheim was fired and replaced by Rupert Julian. Julian re-shot most of the scenes that had already been filmed, and the story was altered from von Stroheim's original vision. The only scenes filmed by von Stroheim that survive in the film are the opening scenes with the count arising and dressing and his conversation with Gisella, the wild loving cup party, and the count bringing Agnes to Madame Elvira's parlor and her seeing a piano and music about how she wanted to play but could not afford lessons. The entire footage accounts for less than ten minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Birth of Hollywood: Episode #1.3 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

THE MERRY GO ROUND WALTZ
(The Merry Go Round Theme)
Written by Paul Van Dyke (orchestrated by Maurice Baron)
See more »

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User Reviews

Mary Philbin shines in Von Stroheim melodrama

Although Rupert Julian is given directorial credit for this, it was Von Stroheim's film - Julian was pulled in to finish it after Thalberg fired him. It is Von Stroheim all the way - thematically and texturally. Several themes are begun here and developed in later Von Stroheim vehicles. The nobleman roue slated for a marriage of state who falls in love with a commoner - later used as the crux for THE WEDDING MARCH. The abject cruelty of the man who dominates the fragile common girl's life (echoed in both GREED and in THE WEDDING MARCH).

Count Franz fools around although he is engaged to marry a Countess. He dallies with the impressionable carousel organ grinder at a local fair. The fair is run by a brute of a sadist, who dominates her life and that of her father, a puppeteer - refusing to allow them to stop work to attend to their dying mother/wife, destroying the doll given her by the Count, stepping on her foot and ordering her to smile while grinding the organ (GREED again), and finally pushing a plant from a height onto her father to kill him (he fails). Finally an observant and vengeful orangutan puts an end to the sadist's life.

The second part of the film finds the disillusioned girl nursing her father to health, having confronted the Count (with his new wife) as a liar and cheat. The war intervenes, conveniently killing her father and his wife and at war's end, laying open the path to their reunion, albeit at the tearful renunciation of marriage with the loyal hunchback who has loved her from afar.

The film is quite solidly made and both grabs and sustains interest though many of the plot twists (especially the orangutan) are hardly plausible or believable. This should be sought out by all those interested in Von Stroheim's work. Unlike the earlier films (BLIND HUSBANDS, FOOLISH WIVES) which are experimental and uncertain, this emerges as Von Stroheim's first clear vision of where he wants to go and what he wants to do in film.

Mary Philbin's fine performance and the photoplay are deserving of award consideration. Under the main title and at various transition points we see Mephistopheles standing at the center of a carousel and laughing at the antics of the human race - well done.


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