The marriage in a circle

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German title The marriage in a circle
Original title The Marriage Circle
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1924
length 92 minutes
Age rating FSK 0
Director Ernst Lubitsch
script Paul Bern
production Ernst Lubitsch
music Edgar Istel
camera Charles J. Van Enger

The Marriage in the Circle is a US American comedy of confusion by Ernst Lubitsch from 1924. The silent film was made after the play Nur ein Traum by Lothar Schmidt ; the film title is borrowed from an operetta "very freely based on Molière " by Herman Haller and Rideamus (1921). In 1932, Lubitsch shot an hour with you, a remake of the sound film.


Vienna : Mizzi and Joseph Stock are a married couple, but haven't had anything to say to each other for a long time. They spend the morning doing little mean things to themselves and Mizzi threatens once more to leave Joseph - which she takes back, knowing that she would do him a pleasure. She learns that her good friend Charlotte has just moved to the city, which she invites to visit her and to get to know her husband in the process. Mizzi decides to take a taxi to her place after the morning argument with her husband . The taxi is reserved, the driver lets himself be bribed by Mizzi and she feels sorry when the actual passenger gets into time trouble because of her: Both finally share the taxi and Joseph sees it from his room. From now on he has his wife shadowed by a detective so that he can get his wife to divorce as quickly as possible because of infidelity.

Meanwhile, in the taxi, Mizzi keeps getting so close to the passenger and flirting with him so unrestrainedly that he leaves the taxi early and forgets his flowers in the car. Mizzi arrives at Charlotte's and the joy of reunion is great, especially since Mizzi gives her the flowers that were forgotten in the car. Charlotte's husband, the neurologist Dr. Franz Braun arrives - it's the man from the taxi.

The next morning, Franz's colleague Dr. Gustav Mueller takes him away from home because they both have the same commute. Gustav is in love with Charlotte and interprets a rose that Charlotte accidentally drops as a token of her favor. Charlotte, on the other hand, only wanted to pick a bouquet for her husband, who in turn loses the roses unnoticed. After Gustav and Franz have left, Charlotte notices the flowers on the floor and decides to confront her husband in his doctor's office. There, in turn, the lovable Mizzi has arrived and wants to seduce Franz, who is defending himself. Gustav, on the other hand, believes he caught Franz in a compromising situation with his wife and is amazed when the short time later enters the practice. There is a dispute between Charlotte and her husband, which is settled the next day.

Plays the female lead of Mizzi: Marie Prevost

Charlotte is giving a party and wants to place Mizzi next to Franz. He swaps the cards so that he would sit next to Miss Hofer, which in turn makes Charlotte think he would be interested in Miss Hofer. She is now doing everything possible to prevent any contact between Fräulein Hofer and Franz and instead let him dance Mizzi with her best friend. Later, Franz had a secret meeting with Mizzi that was not wanted by Franz, which in turn ended with Charlotte suspecting an affair between her husband and Miss Hofer. When Mizzi slips Gustav a card and tells him that she is waiting for him in the car, and Charlotte reacts negatively to Franz's attempts at reconciliation, he goes to Mizzi. He even follows her into the apartment because he has to call a taxi for the return trip and abruptly rejects Mizzi's advances. He forgets his hat when leaving her apartment. Charlotte, meanwhile, has received a visit from Gustav, who can kiss her because she thinks he is her husband. She then throws him out of her house.

The detective saw Mizzi and Franz disappear into the house together. He passes the information on to Joseph, who throws Mizzi out of the apartment. The next day he brings Franz his hat and thanks him for helping him get rid of his wife. In his practice, Franz again receives a letter from Mizzis in which she blames him for her situation - she now lives in a hotel: he wouldn't have come to her apartment just to tell her that he didn't love her. She forces him to meet at her hotel. In the hotel room, however, Charlotte appears unexpectedly, who stands by her friend and wants to know which man is responsible for her situation. When Mizzi briefly leaves the room, Franz comes into the room and Charlotte realizes the connections. She tears up Mizzi's letter, which exonerates Franz, but reads it after her husband has left. Since Mizzi complains about Franz's dismissive attitude, Charlotte forgives her husband and drops Mizzi.

Back at home she wants to take revenge on Franz by "confessing" the short rendezvous with Gustav, but he wants to protect her and denies any kissing with her the night before. Franz, on the other hand, is amused and thinks that Charlotte just wants to fool him anyway, tells Gustav to pretend they have kissed, whereupon he admits everything and Charlotte leaves the scene satisfied. Franz, in turn, has fun and Gustav remains helpless. On his way home, Gustav meets Mizzi who is driving past in the car, who promptly makes him pretty eyes and invites him into her car.


The marriage in a circle was the second film that Ernst Lubitsch made in the USA after Rosita . The film was made from September to October 1923 at Warner Brothers West Coast Studios. The film premiered on February 3, 1924 at the Strand Theater in New York City and at Grauman's Rialto in Los Angeles .


Herbert Ihering found that “this second American film by Ernst Lubitsch […] is probably the most slag-free, the most perfect film that has been made so far. The most perfect because the most cinematic. "

The lexicon of the international film described the marriage in the circle as a "marriage farce with convincing actors who already take up all the ingredients that will later make the famous 'Lubitsch touch'."

In addition to Lubitsch himself, who called this film his favorite film among his own works, The Marriage Circle was also appreciated by other filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock and Akira Kurosawa .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Herber Ihering: The marriage in a circle . In: Berliner Börsenkurier , September 2, 1924.
  2. Marriage in a circle. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. DVD extras for "Marriage in a Circle", interview with film historians