|The Marriage Circle|
|Directed by||Ernst Lubitsch|
|Produced by||Ernst Lubitsch|
|Written by||Paul Bern (scenario)|
Victor Vance (intertitles)
|Based on||Only a Dream |
by Lothar Schmidt
|Cinematography||Charles Van Enger|
|Language||Silent (English intertitles)|
|Box office||$427,000 (worldwide rentals)|
The Marriage Circle is a 1924 American silent comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch and distributed by Warner Bros. Based on the play Only a Dream by Lothar Schmidt, the screenplay was written by Paul Bern. The "circle" of the title refers to the ring of infidelities (suspected and otherwise) central to the plot.
In 1923 Vienna, when Mizzi threatens to leave her husband, Prof. Josef Stock, for "cruelty" for being indifferent to an invitation from her friend Charlotte to introduce them to her husband, he smiles at the suggestion, which infuriates her; she changes her mind and refuses to accommodate him. She goes alone. When Prof. Stock sees his wife get into a taxi with a man, he cheers up. (He later hires a private detective to obtain proof of her misconduct for a divorce.) As it turns out, they are strangers, merely sharing the taxi.
Charlotte greets Mizzi warmly and tells her how happy her marriage is, Mizzi warns her it will not last. Charlotte's husband, Franz Braun, returns home; it is the man she flirted with in the taxi. Mizzi later tries to seduce him. Franz loves his wife and, despite Mizzi's wiles, he never succumbs to her blandishments, even though she cleverly diverts his wife's jealousy to another woman, leaving the road clear for herself.
The situation is complicated by the fact that Franz's wife is greatly admired by his medical partner, Dr. Gustav Mueller, who, though not encouraged, loses no opportunity to press his suit. Out of this entanglement, Franz finally comes clean and regains his wife's confidence, while Mizzi and Dr. Mueller turn their attention to each other, with Prof. Stock left without his divorce.
According to Warner Bros. records, the film earned $373,000 domestically and $54,000 in foreign markets.
- "The Marriage Circle". Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
- Glancy, H Mark (1995). "Warner Bros Film Grosses, 1921–51: the William Schaefer ledger". Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television. 15: 55–73. doi:10.1080/01439689500260031.
- Carl Bennett, ed. (June 24, 2009). "The Marriage Circle". Progressive Silent Film List. Retrieved October 13, 2015 – via silentera.com.
- Warner Bros. financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 2 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
- David Pierce (October 8, 2015). "The Marriage Circle". American Silent Feature Film Survival Database. Library of Congress. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
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