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The Merry Jail (1917)

Das fidele Gefängnis (original title)
A neglected wife disguises herself in order to lure her wastrel husband into a compromising position.

Director:

Ernst Lubitsch

Writer:

Ernst Lubitsch
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Cast

Cast overview:
Harry Liedtke ... Alex von Reizenstein
Emil Jannings ... Quabbe - der Gaoler
Paul Biensfeldt Paul Biensfeldt
Erich Schönfelder Erich Schönfelder ... Egon Storch
Käthe Dorsch
Kitty Dewall Kitty Dewall ... Alice von Reizenstein
Agda Nilsson Agda Nilsson ... Mizi - die Magd
Ernst Lubitsch
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Storyline

A neglected wife disguises herself in order to lure her wastrel husband into a compromising position.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

30 November 1917 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Merry Jail See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This short film is featured on the Criterion Collection DVD for Trouble in Paradise (1932). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well made comedy farce that could have used a little more humor
6 November 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a two-reel silent comedy from Ernst Lubitsch early in his career--long before he left Germany for Hollywood. For an early film, the production values are very good. The sets and acting are just fine, though this REALLY confused me. After all, this movie came out in 1917--in the middle of WWI. Yet despite this, the film makes no mention of the war and everyone seems happy and well-fed--something that would NOT have mirrored Germany in 1917. About the only way you notice something is amiss is at the party. Some of the lady dancers are actually dancing with women dressed up as men! I assume this was due to a shortage of available able-bodied young men (most had been killed in the war or were serving at the front). So this film is very interesting from a historical standpoint.

Unfortunately, while this is a decent film, I must also admit that it isn't all that funny. It reminds me of a more sophisticated and cerebral version of a Sennett film. And while this isn't bad, it definitely could have used an infusion of a few more gags to liven it up a bit. This film is probably best seen by huge cinephiles (film lovers) who want to see an early film by Ernst Lubitsch to see what he was before he hit Hollywood.


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