Michael Kerpan wrote:
Frankly, I think "Marriage Circle" is a vastly better film than "One Hour With You" (which is nonetheless great fun). It's not like "MC was stolid in the first place -- indeed it might be even more wickedly sly.
I don't disagree (or, put it another way, I agree
) that The Marriage Circle
is the better picture. You can actually care about the characters in the original, whereas in OHWY they're more cartoonish. I just find it interesting to compare the two versions and note how Lubitsch had already gone from sly comedies of manners -- which is what he was known for in the '20s -- to something broader and sillier. (And bawdier as well; we know that Pre-Code movies were freer than what came after, but they also had a lot more raunchy content than what had come before.)
I wanted to add that to me, the definite highlight of the box is The Smiling Lieutenant
. I remember this was the hit of a Lubisch retrospective a few years ago; the audience loved it so much that it was given an unscheduled repeat showing. It isn't so great as a musical (the Oscar Straus operetta it's based on is actually really wonderful, but because the movie was mostly cast with non-singers, Straus wrote new, simpler songs and used his original score as background music), but it's extraordinarily funny and even strangely touching in some scenes.
Also, for those who are Chevalier-phobic, this is a good film to start with because his character is portrayed as kind of a horny jerk, so even if you don't like Chevalier's personality, the movie still works.