(YouTube) SO THIS IS PARIS is an early sex farce from Ernst Lubitsch, the likes of which he really didn’t deviate from for the most of his career. However, as it is a silent film, it is couched in actions, glances, overt visual symbolism, and little subtext whatsoever, much less the coy and quippy dialogue that Lubitsch would become known for. (Not that he didn’t try to do so via intertitles.)

It’s a fun little film and, while it’s set in Paris, that’s simply an excuse for the characters to get away with more prurient behavior than they would if it’d been SO THIS IS NEW YORK.

One caveat: the film is often speciously claimed as the first silent film to depict a choreographed dance scene, a rather extended club scene concerning a Charleston contest. Given how silent film grew from theater, and given how slapdash the dancing in the scene is, I’m inclined to think that claim is a studio invention. (I’d argue if there was any choreographer there, it was the editor trying to match footage.)

Sadly, said dance number is the only easily available clip you’ll find, apart from YouTube rips of the entire film, and that will have to serve as a trailer: