Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

(Please note the films reviewed on this site contain plot summaries and may contain SPOILERS.)
  • The Doll (1919) - Plot Summary - Comical fairy tale set in what appears to be the world of a dollhouse - alpine village with cardboard trees, paper moon, men in horse-suits, paper drawn pots and pans on the kitchen walls. About a baron who desires his nephew Lancelot (his sole heir) to marry, so invites all the village maidens to gather in the marketplace so his nephew can choose a wife. Well, the nephew is in tears (literally) at the prospect of marriage - the maidens, anxious, aggressive and eager as they chase him, forty strong, through the village streets (reminded me of the bride chase scene in Buster Keaton's "Seven Chances"). Frightened Lancelot heads straight for the monastery! He requests to be protected from the maidens, and the monks take him in. Soon a letter from the Baron arrives offering Lancelot a large dowry if he marries. The monks, eager for new funds (they have big appetites!), push him to take a wife - but Lancelot absolutely WON'T marry a woman! So they agree he can choose a doll to marry (yeah, pretty darn weird) and send him to a local dollmaker who has created human-like dolls that walk, dance, and more at the push of a button on their backs. Lancelot picks Ossi, a doll created in the image of the dollmaker's daughter - what he doesn't know is the doll he takes home is actually the real girl (who was posing as the doll after an apprentice accidently broke the actual doll).

    Review - Unusual and somewhat surreal - this film is stylishly directed, amusing, odd, and quite entertaining! The sets and art direction are visually interesting - Ossi Oswalda, who plays the doll, is really cute and charming in this, as usual (she's one of my personal favorites from the silent days). The Kino DVD of this features a very good-looking tinted print and really nice piano score that enhances the film. A delightful silent film all around. Rating - * 9/10 stars *

    Director: Ernst Lubitsch
    Film Genre: Comedy Fantasy
    Film Runtime: 58 minutes
    German Original Title: Die Puppe

Links / Resources

film review The Doll directed by Ernst Lubitsch


10 = Absolutely Fabulous/Superb
9 = Really Good/Excellent
8 = Good
7 = Fairly Good/Decent
6 = So-so, some flaws
5 = Mediocre
4 = Not that good, many flaws
3 = Poor
2 = Very Poor/Stinker
1 = One of the worst BOMBS ever filmed

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