The film depicts the story of a young married couple (Herr Ernst Lubitsch himself and Frau Louise Schenrich) who live in the same apartment with their mother-in-law (Frau Lanchen Voss), a terrible mistake. At least if the mother-in-law lives far away, her dangerous intentions require more exertion to work. Herr Ernst likes very much to play chess with his pals at the club, a thrilling sport that will bring him a lot of problems (that’s what happens when you play such weird games). One night Herr Ernst arrives home late due to one of those exciting and lengthy chess matches and finds the door to his home locked, forcing him to sleep on the stairs. It is not necessary to say that the party responsible for such an evil act is his mother-in-law who continually uses the long chess matches to poison her daughter’s mind against her husband. She finally succeeds and Frau Luise divorces her mate. But Herr Ernst’s revenge will be terrible: His mother-in-law puts an ad in the newspaper for a butler so, anticipating many modernen superheroes, he dons a disguise and answers the ad (Herr Ernst disguise consists only of a wig but nobody seems to recognize him). Now, inside his old home and thanks to his wig, his sex appeal will attract the maid and even his mother-in-law!, In what it is one of the most insidious plans of vengeance ever contemplated. Herr Ernst will try to seduce his mother-in-law in order to shame her and finally banish her from his home. —ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com
b. Jan. 29, 1892, Berlin. d. Nov. 30, 1947, Hollywood. The son of a prosperous tailor, he was drawn to the stage while participating in plays staged by his high school, which he quit at 16. To satisfy both his own urge to act and his father’s desire that he take over the family business, he began leading a double life, working as a bookkeeper at his father’s store by day and appearing in cabarets and music halls by night.
In 1911 he joined Max Reinhardt’s famous Deutsches Theater, where he rapidly advanced from bit parts to character leads. To supplement his income, he took a job in 1912 as an apprentice and general-purpose handyman at Berlin’s Bioscope film studios. The following year he began appearing in a series of film comedies, emphasizing ethnic Jewish humor, in which he played a character named Meyer. He became very successful as a comedian and soon began writing and directing his own films. Gradually, Lubitsch abandoned acting to concentrate on directing… read more
Rare early Lubitsch in which he stars as a husband with a busybody mother-in-law. Best seen today for a good example of Lubitsch's early acting style, rubbery and full of big eyed facial expressions. Hard to find, but there is at least one extremely shoddy music-less foreign print floating around the internet.