The storytelling is awkward and inconsistent in some places, but the staging of the scenes is very good. It could be improved to make it tonally more consistent and focused. Mae murray is wierd and miscast. The subject matter is weak in this film. Compared to this Blind Husbands had a much better and focused story.
It's difficult to imagine that a silent adaptation of a great operetta could be superior to a sound version, but such is the case. As beautiful and charming as Lubitsch's film with MacDonald and Chevalier is, Stroheim's is infinitely more moving and better looking as well. John Gilbert and Mae Murray are surprisingly poignant as lovers whose wealth and station keep getting in their way and Roy D'Arcy is truly wicked.