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155 Ratings

The Marriage Circle

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
United States, 1924
Comedy, Silent, Romance


Doctor Monte Blue is happily married to Florence Vidor, Professor Adolphe Menjou is unhappily married to Marie Prevost – who decides to chase Blue – while Blue’s partner is hoping for an affair with Vidor – and then things really get complicated.

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The Marriage Circle Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
This is the film that, as Renoir put it, “invented the modern Hollywood.” It represented a quantum jump in sophistication. . . . Suddenly appearing on American screens was the truth about modern marriage, its messy complications and many compromises, its blend of sincerity and deceitfulness, its seriousness and absurdity, its tacit need to look the other way to survive.
June 15, 2018
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From The Marriage Circle on, subtlety and carefully constructed undercurrents were unquestionably at the centre of Lubitsch’s sophisticated brand of comedy. Centred upon knowing glances and meaningful gestures, the ‘Lubitsch touch’ aspired to conveying information visually rather than through numerous intertitles. There are famous examples in this film alone, such as the opening scene where Stock’s point-of-view glances into two dresser drawers… quickly summing up the state of their marriage.
June 22, 2017
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For his second American film, from 1923, Ernst Lubitsch turned a drawing-room farce into bittersweet chamber music—which, aptly, plays out in Vienna… The suggestion of a ringing telephone, a tap on a windowpane, a voice in the dark, and a woman weeping behind closed doors may startle the viewer even as they spur characters to motion or freeze them with apprehension. Only a few notes separate these blithe romantic machinations from film noir.
October 12, 2015
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