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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>
In "Lady Windermere's Fan" the great Ernst Lubitsch may have bitten off a bit more than he can chew. First and foremost, how can you reproduce Oscar Wilde's witty dialogue in a SILENT FILM?? True, the famous 'Lubitsch touch' is apparent, but minus Wilde it becomes a romantic drama.
The players are excellent and above reproach, in particular Irene Rich as Mrs. Erlynne - in fact, it is basically her picture. A youthful Ronald Colman as Lord Darlington underplays his role but is urbane and charming (in truth, I have not read or seen the play before but that is my perception). I have always liked Colman in everything I have seen him in, but, of course, you can't hear his marvelous voice and diction here.
Despite these drawbacks I enjoyed the film and felt the photography was exceptionally good. I just felt it would have been even better with a soundtrack, as it lacks the requisite bite and panache.
Sadly, a drawing room comedy of manners such as "Lady Windermere's Fan" wouldn't work today, as modern day audiences would be baffled by the subtlety and lack of action. That may be why it hasn't been remade successfully in the sound era. I give it a rating of 7.
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