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Enter Madame (1922)

Enter Madame (1922) Samuel Zierler Photoplay Corp. Distributor: Metro Pictures. Producer: Harry Garson. Director: Wallace Worsley. Scenario: Frank Beressford. Story: Gilda Veresi, Dolly Burne. Camera: L. William O'Connell. Cast: Clara Kimball Young, Elliott Dexter, Louise Dresser, Lionel Belmore, Wedgewood Nowell, Rosita Marstini, Ora Devereaux, Arthur Rankin, Mary Jane Sanderson, George Kuwa. 7 reels. Prints of this film are located at the Cinematheque Royale in Bussels (French and Dutch intertitles) and the Cinematheque de Toulouse (French intertitles)

This is Young's latest surviving silent and the only one from her Metro period.

Review from Variety
Reviews from Moving Picture World
Reviews from Photoplay

Review from Variety, December 22, 1922


Equity Production [i.e. Zierler] starring Clara Kimball Young, presented by Harry Garson. Adaptation of the play of the same title by Frank Beresford. Directed by Wallace Worsley. Short seven reels, distributed by Metro.

Lisa Della Robbia Clara Kimball Young
General Fitzgerald Elliott Dexter
Mrs. Preston Louise Dresser
Archimede Lionel Belmore
Doctor Wedgewood Nowell
Rice Rosita Maratini
Miss Smith Orra Deveraux
John Fitzgerald Arthur Rankin
Aline Mary Jane Saunderson

Enter Clara Kimball Young, actress! In this picture, Miss Young is giving a performance better than most she has done in the past two or three years. The reason for it is pretty much the tempo at which she was forced along at, there being speed instead of the usual slow, draggy performance that she has been giving, and the result is surprising.

Surrounding is a capable cast and the story itself has been well done under the direction of Wallace Worsley, with the result that "Enter Madame" is a feature that will stand up with the best of the better program productions. There may be some question or not the audiences in the small theaters will get the finer points of the picture, but they will be entertained whether they do or not. The audience on the American Roof (Loew's) in New York got a lot of laughs out of the picture that a Broadway audience would not get and muffed a number that would be sure fire with a high-class audience.

The feature is best described to the exhibitor as a society comedy. The plot deals with a grand opera prima donna who practically deserts her husband to follow her career, even though she loves her better half. While the pampered pet of a suite of servants and receiving the homage of operatic mad foreigners, she believes he is sitting at home in Boston immersed in his work. Instead he has fallen for a designing widow and has about decided to divorce his songbird wife. When the latter comes to a realization of this she hurries back to the husband's native land and immediately begins to exert her emotional wiles to win him back, but he does not react as she expects. In the end, however, she emerges victorious.

The story is well screened, and Miss Young takes the role of the emotional and temperamental prima donna to her heart as though she had been doing that sort of thing all her life. It is a distinct triumph for her. Elliott Dexter plays the husband, and the third angle to the triangle is furnished by Louise Dresser, whose blond beauty proves and excellent foil for the brunet C.K.Y.

The youthful love interest in the hands of Arthur Rankin and Mary Jane Saunderson is capably handled and a bit of character work that is rendered by both Lionel Belmore and Rosita Marstini is perfect.

In sets and atmosphere the production is all that could be asked for, and Wallace Worsley has turned out a picture in which the star is really handled as she should be.


Reviews from Moving Picture World

November 11, 1922

"Enter Madame"
Clara Kimball Young Feature for Metro is a Clever and Subtle High-Class Comedy Drama
Reviewed by C.S. Sewell

Clara Kimball Young's latest production for Metro, "Enter Madame," is an adaptation of a successful stage play of the past season. It is characterized by clever and unusually subtle comedy and concerns the domestic troubles of a wealthy man who is married to an exceedingly temperamental opera singer. The humor is finely brought out particularly in a scene where the wife invites her husband to bring to dinner the woman who has been chosen to succeed her, and by deft touches turns every situation to her own advantage, thus winning back her husband.

It is a production which will appeal more strongly to high class audiences as the humor is subtle and sophisticated. It is also a picture with which an appropriate musical accompaniment will help considerably in bringing out the "atmosphere" and spirit of the play. The main character, Madame, is one which appeals to you because of her cleverness rather than through sympathy for her.

Wallace Worsley has made a good job in bringing out the spirit of the play and the production is adequate in all respects. Clara Kimball Young is a good type for the temperamental Latin opera singer and does some of the best work of her career. Elliott Dexter is well cast as the husband. In fact all of the roles are well handled.

The Cast:

Prima Donna Lisa Della Robbia (Mrs. Gerald Fitzgerald) Clara Kimball Young
Gerald Fitzgerald Elliott Dexter
Mrs. Flora Preston Louise Dresser
Archimede Lionel Belmore
Doctor Wedgewood Nowell
Rice Rosita Marstini
Miss Smith Orra Deveraux
John Fitzgerald Arthur Rankin
Aline Chalmers Mary Jane Saunderson
Tomamoto George Kuwa
Based on the play by Gilda Vareal and Dolly Byrne.
Adapted by Frank Beresford.
Directed by Wallace Worseley.
Produced by Sam Zierler Photoplay Corp.
Length, 6,500 Feet

The Story: Wealthy and middle-aged, Gerald Fitzgerald begins to tire of his wife who is an extremely temperamental and romantic opera singer and believes he has found another woman who suits him better. He endeavors to arrange with his wife for a divorce. She agrees, but returns home from her foreign opera tour. The situation brings her face to face with the fact that she really loves him but with a woman's wiles she adopts a more subtle method. When she finds that her policy of agreeing with him is having its effect, she cleverly arranges for a dinner party and invites him to bring the other woman. She makes every situation work to her advantage and presses her advantage after dinner with the final result that she wins her husband back.

Consensus of Published Reviews, December 2, 1922

Enter Madame
(Clara Kimball Young--Metro--6,500 Feet)

M.P.W.--It is a production which will appeal more strongly to a high-class audience as the humor is subtle and sophisticated.
E.H.--Makes a splendid vehicle for this star.
N.--The picture has its interesting moments. The idea is sound and it is well developed.
F.D. Stage play does not lend itself to needs of screen adequately.
T.R.--It affords a round of comedy and dramatic action that should prove highly entertaining to any type of audience.

Straight from the Shoulder Reports (from exhibitors)

March 10, 1923
ENTER MADAME (6,500 feet). Star, Clara Kimball Young. This one is only fair. Don't promise much on it for the star has made a lot better; not in the same class with "Charge It." Buster Keaton, in "The Electric House," saved the day for us, for this comedy is a riot. No advertising, had fair attendance. Town of 7,135, draw miners and railroad men. Admission 10-20. Steve Farrar, Orpheum Theatre, Harrisburg, Illinois.

March 24, 1923
ENTER MADAME. (6,500 feet.) Star, Clara Kimball Young. Not good for small town. "Hands of Nara" killed this star. With me, first day poor, second day, 28 adults ten kids (Came in to see the comedy.) Lost money. Used photos, slide., 3,000 programs, one, three sheet. Draw small merchants and workers in town of 5,000. W. Babitz, Grand Theatre, Cicero, Illinois.

March 24, 1923
ENTER MADAME. (6,500 feet.) Star, Clara Kimball Young. A very good production, but this star does not pull at this class of theatre. Booked for three days and pulled after one day of poor business. Used front with Italian flavor, ones, threes, sixes. Transient trade in big city. Admission 17-20. J.L. Stallman, Savoy Theatre, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

April 21 1923
ENTER MADAME. (6,500 feet.) Star, Clara K. Young. Very good. Miss Young is very popular and pleased every one who saw it. Used lobby, newspaper, hand bills. Attendance good. Draw mixed class. Admission 10-30. O.W. Harris, St. Denis Theatrek Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

December 17, 1923
ENTER MADAME. (6,500 feet.) Star, Clara Kimball Young. A clean-cut, high class picture that seemed to be over the heads of our audiences. Star has absolutely no box-office power. Few liked this one except the manager. Moral tone O.K. and is suitable for Sunday. Had terrible attendance. Draw all classes in city of 14,000. Admission 10-25, 10-35. E.W. Collins, Grand and Liberty Theatres (600-750 seats), Jonesboro, Arkansas.

February 24, 1923
ENTER MADAME. (6,500 feet.) Star, Clara Kimball Young. Good, entertaining picture, much better than "Hands of Nara," the star's previous vehicle. My patrons seemed satisfied with it. Elliott Dexter in supporting cast. Charles H. Ryan, Garfield Theatre, Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois.

February 24, 1923
HANDS OF NARA and ENTER MADAME. (Nara, 6,000 feet, Madame, 6,500 feet.) Star, Clara Kimball Young. Both, in my opinion, very ordinary productions. Young not liked in this territory. She seems to be getting too old for pictures. City of 32,000. Admission thirty cents. H.W. Perry, Ogden Theatre, Ogden, Utah.

Review from Photoplay, January 1923

Clara Kimball Young in Enter Madame

Enter Madame--Metro

Following so closely the stage success of the same name that watchers are both amazed and delighted, this picture is entertaining, splendidly directed and has an amazing subtlety. Though Clara Kimball Young is not a Varesi she has and exotic charm that fits her very well indeed for the role of the tempestuous diva Madame Lisa Della Robbia. And Elliott Dexter, as her dissatisfied husband, is suave and complacent and quite in keeping with the part he plays. In fact, the cast, as a whole has been chosen with real care.

The plot deals with a charming prima donna who has put her career before her home, and who--because of it--nearly loses her husband, who longs vainly for the peace and comfort of a commonplace middle age. The clash between romance and conventionality is the basis of a charming story.

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Last revised October 13, 2005