Sassy and sophisticated, Oscar Wilde has never been better than in the hands of Ernst Lubitsch. While the plot of the play was left intact, Lubitsch modernized it, included some witty title cards and led his cast to triumph.
Ronald Colman is fine as a cad but Irene Rich walks away with the entire movie tucked in her handbag as the shady lady with a secret connection to a well-heeled family. The whole picture is an unmitigated delight, though, and is everything you could expect from Lubitsch in Hollywood.
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.Rich nobly sacrifices herself to save the reputation of the daughter she abandoned but she has no intention of quietly retiring and rides off into the sunset with her newest, richest conquest.
If it were a dessert it would be: Coffee Napoleon. Layered and refined but also quite a lot of fun.
Availability: The best edition was released on DVD as part of the More Treasures from American Film Archives box set but it is out of print. I have not viewed the standalone DVD releases yet.
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