starring Marie Prevost, Monte Blue, Florence Vidor, Adolphe Menjou and Creighton Hale
May, 1924

The treatment of pictures by suggestion - the achieving of natural effects as introduced by Chaplin in "A Woman of Paris," has been adopted by Ernst Lubitsch, whose picture "The Marriage Circle" (Warner Brothers) is cut from the same cloth. The German has profited by simple, direct methods - and we are assuming that he has seen the Chaplin opus because it has so many comparable points. There is revealed the same subtlety of humor - the identical sparkle - the same skating on thin ice, without breaking thru and above all it is treated with fine naturalness in story development and interpretation.

We hold the impression that Lubitsch dsplays a hidden talent, for heretofore he has been the sponsor of ponderous pictures. Which makes him at home with comedy as well as tragedy. He works skillfully - because one never senses the frail foundation upon which the domestic upheavals in the story are based. Each scene and incident is neatly dovetailed.

"The Marriage Circle" is thoroly Continental in character and it carries points of value which, if measured individually, would appear insignificant, but collectively, make the pattern a fascinating design. We are presented with a quadrangle which never becomes sordid; we are offered mild flirtations entertained by young married trespassers who believe in having their fling. These very human beings have a gay time of it in scenes which are so delicately handled, so skillfully suggested - that it is bound to appeal to anyone with imagination and a sense of humor. Here are no wasteful gestures - no expenditure of energy.

The acting is natural and spontaneous. It is one of the most perfectly rounded casts that ever acted a picture. Adolphe Menjou of the lifted eyebrow (he was in "A Woman of Paris") has a rich part - and so have the others.

It is as light as moondust - and it sheds a radiance of capricious moods and shadings. It is gay, sparkling and smart. And once again, the screen becomes a true medium of light comedy.

starring Marie Prevost, Monte Blue, Florence Vidor, Adolphe Menjou and Creighton Hale
April, 1924

It is beocming more generally recognized by producers that a story can be told on the screen with pictures, plus intelligence, and does not have to have a title every thirty or forty feet. Also, it can be told clearly, concisely and straightforwardly, without "flashbacks" or other nuisances. Mr. Chaplin did it with "A Woman of Paris," and Ernst Lubitsch has done it again wih "The Marriage Circle." What stands out in this picture is its simplicity. Here is a story with a number of human characters in it. The picture starts, the characters themselves reveal the story, which runs smoothly along to its logical ending. There is no straining for effects, no effort to be spectacular. It's all very simple, very human, and immensely entertaining.

The story deals with the complications which beset a young wife who tries to steal the husband of her best friend. The plot is extremely thin and has no distinction whatever. It has certain farcical angles which are most amusing, but it is the treatment which makes the picture.

Mr. Lubitsch has been notably economical even in his use of incident. The scenes are laid in Vienna, but there is no attempt at scenic effects. It is just everyday life and surroundings. The cast is uniformly good. There are two wives, admirably played by Marie Prevost and Florence Vidor, and two husbands, played by Monte Blue and that delightfully sophisticated actor, Adolphe Menjou. Creighton Hale also contributes an excellent performance. It would be hard to award first place to any one of these five. The women probably will give it to Miss Prevost, but there is just something positively enchanting in the work of Mr. Menjou. He's such a "wise egg."

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