Sunday, June 15, 2008
Lubitsch: “The Marriage Circle”
This film is one of Lubitsch's earliest in the U.S. It's based on the play "Only a Dream" by Lothar Schmidt. “The Marriage Circle” was remade in 1932 as a sound film by Lubitsch and George Cukor. The remake was a musical starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeannette MacDonald called “One Hour with You”; the songs were by various composers, including Oscar Strauss ("The Chocolate Soldier"). It was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture. In both versions, one unhappy married couple seeks solace elsewhere. In the first interpretation, Mizzi (Marie Prevost) tries to be unfaithful to Prof. Stock (Adolph Menjou) with Dr. Braun (Monte Blue). This link goes to an article in Bright Lights Film Journal, which says the film is the first screwball comedy. Well, maybe.