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A Fool There Was (1915)

 -  Drama  -  12 January 1915 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 388 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 7 critic

A married diplomat falls hopelessly under the spell of a predatory woman.




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Title: A Fool There Was (1915)

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Complete credited cast:
Mabel Frenyear ...
Mrs. Kate Schuyler - the Fool's Wife
Edward José ...
John Schuyler - the Fool
May Allison ...
The Wife's Sister
Runa Hodges ...
The Child
Clifford Bruce ...
Tom - the Friend
Victor Benoit ...
Reginal Parmalee - a Victim
Minna Gale ...
The Doctor's Fiancee
Frank Powell ...
The Doctor
Creighton Hale ...
Minor Role


John Schuyler, happily married Wall Street lawyer, is appointed as special diplomatic representative to England. By an unhappy accident, his wife and child can't come along; but on the ship with him is "The Vampire," a "notorious woman" who lives off a succession of men she has seduced and ruined. Slighted by Mrs. Schuyler, she has set her sights on the husband. Two months later, we find the Fool languishing with the mistress who has him enmeshed in her toils. Will he follow the others to the depths of degradation? Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

seductress | daughter | vamp | grudge | vanity | See more »







Release Date:

12 January 1915 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Fool There Was  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Other actresses considered by director Powell as the vamp were Valeska Suratt and Madlaine Traverse. He almost settled on Virginia Pearson before giving it to Bara. See more »


The ship they travel on is the Gigantic, referred to in the newspaper as a Cunarder. In fact Cunard names ended in -ia (e.g. "Mauretania"), while White Star names ended in -ic (e.g. "Olympic"). See more »


Second Victim: [to Parmalee] Look what she as done to me. Look what she's doing to you!
See more »


Referenced in Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

Dated, Somewhat Silly but Entertaining
21 September 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Fool There Was, A (1915)

*** (out of 4)

John Schuyler (Edward Jose) is the luckiest man in the world as he has great friends, a wonderful wife, money and a young child who loves him. However, on a cruise he happens to get seduced by "The Vampire" (Theda Bara) and he's willing to give it all up for her deadly poison. While watching this film I had to keep reminding myself that this was made in 1915 because on a technical level it looks years earlier. There are a lot of negative things you could say about this movie as the thing is way too over dramatic and in many ways it comes off corny and hammy today but it's a very rare opportunity to see Bara, the main sex symbol of the day and perhaps the first vamp in the history of cinema. I'll start off with the story, which is based on a poem by Rudyard Kipling. To say it's silly would be an under statement but it doesn't help that the director is constantly showing us the poem as if it were quotes from the Bible. The screenplay really isn't anything too original as you'd expect the dumb men to give up everything good in their life just to be tempted by the "Vampire" who is going to do nothing but ruin their lives. What's so funny is how over-the-top this is done. There are countless times we'll see the husband getting ready to do something bad and this will follow by a scene showing his young daughter and wife just having fun together. Every time the husband goes to do anything wrong we get these rather silly flashbacks but the silliest thing happens to the men who "fall" for the vamp. The only thing I can compare it to are the zombies in a George Romero film. We see two or three of the vamp's previous lovers and they're all ruined movie who move as if they were zombies with the life sucked out of them. Even the husband character goes through a Jekyll and Hyde thing and it's just incredibly how "dead" they show him towards the end of the movie when he's breaking down from not having the vamp near him. So, how is Bara, the original movie vamp? While the sexuality is certainly very old-fashioned, I must admit that I really enjoyed her. You can just tell she loves playing bad as her walk is pure snake-like and she has no problem showing off the coldness of her character. She certainly doesn't look like a sex symbol that you'd see today but her attitude and cocky nature were just terrific to watch. The supporting players range from fair to good but none of them really stick out. Even though the story and over dramatic nature are silly at times, it's still hard not to recommend this to film buffs as it's certainly an important film and a rare chance to see Bara in action.

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