Okay, so for the past few Sundays I have been watching and reviewing silent films who’s plots are about love and marriage. What is going on with me? I am not a mushy romantic in any sense of the word! I cannot stand stories where marriages or relationships are going down the dumps because of huge mistakes in miscommunication or some bored housewife decides to try to seduce another woman’s man for some fun. That seems to be all I have been watching lately! I watch one of those types of silent films yet again with Ernst Lubitsch’s (and yeah I do realize that I reviewed an Ernst Lubitsch comedy last week. The two films just happened to jump out at me when I went looking for some silent films) The Marriage Circle.
Josef Stock (Adolphe Menjou) is a professor. His wife Mizzi seems to have all the nice things while he is left with holes in his socks and ripped shirt collars. From what we can see of Josef he is not cruel but Mizzi tells him he is and if he does not stop with his cruelness she will leave him. Josef would like nothing more if Mizzi were to leave him. Mizzi has left to go to her friend Charlotte’s place. She takes a taxi that had been called for someone else. Mizzi and the other passenger discuss sharing the taxi. Josef sees this exchange from his bedroom window and thinks Mizzi is leaving with another man. Later in the day Josef hires a detective to gather information on where his wife goes.
Charlotte is a very happy woman. She is very happy with her husband Franz who is a doctor. Franz come home and as he is hugging his wife he cannot stop staring at Mizzi. Mizzi also has a thing for Franz and later on fakes a fainting spell to have him come over to check on her. She has wine on a drink trolley brought in. Franz is not stupid he knows what Mizzi is trying to do and he does all he can to try to show her he has no interest in her. Josef walks in to see his wife and the doctor alone. Mizzi tries to tell her husband that she has one of her fainting spells but he can clearly see there was wine brought in and thinks he is the one Mizzi got into the taxi with that morning. The following morning Mizzi receives a letter from Franz that she should consult with another doctor. Mizzi is not easily dissuaded by Franz’s letter. She goes to his office and immediately grabs him and kisses him.
Charlotte suspects that Franz is cheating on her but they both decide not to bring it up and fight about it anymore than they already have. She believes he is cheating on her with a young woman named Miss Hoffer. She is one of their guests at their dinner party and whenever Charlotte sees her husband is talking with Miss Hofer. Not knowing that Mizzi is the one Franz has been seeing Charlotte tells Mizzi to keep her eye on Franz since she thinks he is cheating on her with Miss Hoffer. Franz and Mizzi are almost caught out in the garden by Charlotte later on.
That night Mizzi tells Josef that all she needs is love. He was willing to give her that love until the detective he hired to watch Mizzi comes back with a list of who she was with which includes Franz. Josef goes to Franz to tell him that he now has a reason and a person to blame to bring divorce against Mizzi. Charlotte is upset with her husband. She tries to make him jealous by tell him that she has been with his partner at the office (which she really has) but Franz does not believe her and lets her stunts such as kissing the other man in front of him go on.
Obviously Charlotte and Franz make up and are a happy couple again. Mizzie and Josef wind up getting a divorce.
The Marriage Circle was alright. I got bored with the story. After a while I just wanted it to end. I am not a fan of whole miscommunication thing it drives me up a wall. The cast did a very good in their roles especially Marie Provost who played Mizzi. The Marriage Circle is worth seeing at least once if you enjoy silent films. It is currently available to view in full on YouTube.