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Three Women

Live Musical Accompaniment by Robert Humphreville
Screening on Film
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch.
With May McAvoy, Pauline Frederick, Marie Prevostg.
US, 1924, 35mm, black & white, silent, 83 min.
Print source: George Eastman Museum

After introducing sexual satire to American silent comedy, Lubitsch radically renews American screen melodrama by emphasizing female desire, as he had done in his German star vehicles for Pola Negri. In Three Women, a widow and her grown daughter both fall for the same rake, and then all is further overturned by the arrival of a third woman, played by Marie Prevost, whom Lubitsch cast after noticing her skill at playing a worldly young woman in The Marriage Circle. The film deftly balances comedy and pathos, with the mother’s ache at her descent into middle age given real weight.

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