Combustible Celluloid
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With: May McAvoy, Pauline Frederick, Lew Cody, Marie Prevost, Willard Louis, Pierre Gendron, Mary Carr, Raymond McKee
Written by: Hanns Kräly, based on a story by Hanns Kräly, Ernst Lubitsch, and on a novel by Yolande Maree
Directed by: Ernst Lubitsch
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 70
Date: 10/19/1924

Three Women (1924)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

A Cute Triangle

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

A trifling minor picture in the career of the great Ernst Lubitsch, Three Women is still a pretty fun watch. It was his third American film, and it kicks off with a huge party sequence, complete with revelers taking turns whizzing down a giant slide. Lamont (Lew Cody) throws away handfuls of cash on adoring flower girls before we learn that he's actually broke, and in debt. He finds out that fellow party guest Mabel Wilton (Pauline Frederick) is worth $3 million and immediately sets his sights on winning her. But then her cute teen daughter Jeannie (May McAvoy) comes home from college (she attends UC Berkeley), just before her nervous boyfriend can propose to her. Lamont then turns his sights on the younger model. The third woman of the title is a vicious, greedy flapper, Harriet (Marie Prevost), who wants Lamont under her thumb. It's pretty thin material, but Lubitsch films it all with his usual graceful touch. Kino Lorber's 2022 Blu-ray release is a 4K restoration with a new score by Andrew Earle Simpson. It also includes a commentary track by film historian Anthony Slide.

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