Three Women is a pretty piece of direction. For this Ernst Lubitsch is to be credited. Pauline Frederick playing mother to May McAvoy is something of a shock at first glance, but not so great after one has seen the picture.
The heavy is handled by Lew Cody, who appears as a penniless Don Juan and lays siege to the heart of the $3 million widow (Pauline Frederick). She is strikingly bedecked in jewels and Cody, with his creditors hounding him, before long manages to lay a touch for $100,000, which is pretty heavy lover stuff, even with a $3 million widow.
He is not aware that she has a daughter until the night he makes the heavy touch. The young girl returns from school unawares and steps right into her mother’s romance. When Cody hears that the daughter is to receive half of the family fortune on her marriage he lays plans to win her; in fact, he compromises her, which makes the marriage a necessity.
As soon as the ceremony is set he starts playing around on the outside and sets up a second establishment, which is where the third woman comes in. She is Marie Prevost; but hers is little better than a bit in the picture.
Lubitsch does not resort to one written title to convey the story of the young daughter’s downfall in the entire sequence. That is direction. Everything is suggestion in facial expression.