in about 100 words or less
Germany 36m, B&W, Silent
Director: Ernst Lubitsch; Cast: Ernst Lubitsch, Louise Schenrin, Lanchen Voss, Julius Falkenstein
When I was Dead is a romantic comedy about a husband who gets locked out of his apartment by his vindictive mother-in-law after playing chess all night at the club. Believing he must be involved in some infidelity, his wife asks for a divorce. Plotting his revenge, Ernst fakes his own suicide and returns home disguised as a butler (sporting a Paul Weller-like hair-do). Though the comedic elements of this film lay in the husband’s ridiculous scheme for revenge, it is noteworthy that Lubitsch’s characters, and particularly his own, break the fourth wall on numerous occasions, letting the audience know that this is all in good fun (Klaus Ming January 2016).