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The Merry Widow with no singing? A silent version of an operetta may seem an unlikely venture, but this vivacious hit proved that the right ingredients make for an irresistible romantic soufflé. Those ingredients include Erich von Stroheim’s stylish direction (in his first film after Greed), ex-Ziegfeld bombshell Mae Murray in her best role, a star-making turn for John Gilbert and a mythical European kingdom straight out of fairyland. Murray plays showgirl Sally O’Hara, who’s jilted by a prince (Gilbert). On the rebound, she marries a nasty old baron who conveniently keels over on their wedding night, leaving Sally not only merry, but rich enough to attract a bevy of suitors…including the prince, eager to rekindle their flame.

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WAA17992 Merry Widow DVD (1925/John Gilbert) $21.49