Castro Theatre Thu, May 2, 2019 3:00 PM
Film Info
Director:Ernst Lubitsch
Cast:Ossi Oswalda
Victor Janson
Harry Liedtke
Julius Falenstein
Max Kronert
Total Run Time:60 min.


Musical accompaniment by Wayne Barker
Called the comedy that started it all, The Oyster Princess is Ernst Lubitsch’s first film to tease satire from slapstick. When the daughter of the Shoe-Cream King marries a count, bratty American heiress (Ossi Oswalda) demands that her father, the Oyster King of America (Victor Janson), procure a royal husband of her own. A confection of a story, Lubitsch fills it out with a procession of delightful set pieces poking fun at the excesses of wealth and the reduced circumstances of European aristocracy, their fortunes long depleted. Parades of uniformed servants tend to the Oyster King’s every single need while the hormone-fueled Ossi learns true love is sweeter when not purchased outright. A foxtrot scene at the wedding celebration is one of the most exuberant dance sequences in all silent cinema, rivaling any cast-of-thousands spectacle from the lavish epics the director went on to make. German audiences flocked to the film as a postwar salve, and more prints had to be struck to meet exhibitor demand.

Print courtesy of F.W. Murnau Stiftung


Introduction by Joseph McBride


Copresented by Berlin & Beyond and SF Sketchfest

Additional Information

Musical accompaniment by Wayne Barker

Wayne Barker has garnered acclaim both for his original compositions and live performances in the theater, including a Tony nomination for best original score on Peter and the Starcatcher. His numerous credits include piano scores for Beth Henley’s Laugh, an homage to silent-era slapstick, and Joe DiPietro’s Hollywood, centered around the 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor. He composed for Dame Edna Everage as well as appeared onstage as Master of the Dame’s Music for six years. This will be Barker's second performance at SFSFF.