The Merry Jail (1917)

ERNST LUBITSCH

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.5

Original title:  Das Fidele Gefangnis

Germany, 1917.  Projektions-AG Union.  Screenplay by Ernst Lubitsch.  Cinematography by .  

Early Lubitsch film that shows off the skills with image and narrative that would make him so well known for his famous touch in the sound years. The plot packs a lot of detail into forty-minutes of silent footage but mainly concerns a young woman who is tired of her husband spending all his time getting drunk and staying out all night. Deciding to get him where it hurts, she attends a party in disguise in order to lure him back into their marriage. The condition that the footage has been left in makes some details difficult to discern, but overall the images are dazzling and the expedience with which it is achieved is highly impressive.

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