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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 helped her with a cheque, invites her to his wifes birthday-party, but Lady Windermere thinks, she has reason to be jealous, so she decides to leave her husband and go to Lord Darlington, who is pining for her. Mrs Erlynne finds this out and tries to prevent her of this mistake, but her daughter leaves her fan in Lord Darlingtons residence. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
'Lady Windermere's Fan' is one of the great plays of Oscar Wilde, so it is curious to see it here as a big budget silent film from Warners Brothers. Starring May McAvoy and Bert Lytell as the Windermeres, with Irene Rich as Mrs Erlynne and a young Ronald Colman as Lord Darlington, this film is directed by Ernst Lubitsch, known mainly now for his stylish musicals and dramas from the sound era.
Despite the obvious drawback of not using any of Wilde's text, either spoken or as title cards, this adaptation does succeed in putting across most of the play's plot, just making a little tweak here and there to move the plot along or to bring matters to a satisfactory conclusion. Sets and costumes are of the jazz age and are beautiful, and McAvoy is a winsome Lady Windermere, all indignant eyes and little rosebud mouth.
The film however belongs to Irene Rich who portrays Mrs Erlynne as desperate, calculating, and everything in-between. She was a superb technician without overacting, and it's a pleasure to watch her. Ronald Colman as well shows signs of the star quality to come.
This 'Lady Windermere' is well worth watching.
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