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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?


Theda Bara's first starring role. 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 »


The Vampire: Kiss me, my Fool!
See more »


Featured in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting Melodrama Despite Its Imperfections
2 September 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

There's no question about its imperfections, but "A Fool There Was" is still an interesting melodrama, and it also looks better when considered in the context of its era. The pacing and storytelling are often uneven, but they are not too bad for a time when everyone was still learning how to tell a feature-length story on film. Theda Bara's performance is sometimes exaggerated, but it also contains some very effective moments, and it's not hard to see why she was something of a phenomenon for a time.

The story is relatively simple, with Bara as a 'vamp' who enters the lives of a respected statesman and his family. In general, the story works rather well, resisting the temptation to resort to anything forced or showy. It's driven solely by the strange power that Bara's character can acquire over good-natured but weak-willed males. Similar stories have been used in recent movies, but usually with the addition of a lot of extraneous or indecent material that adds nothing of genuine value.

To be sure, only someone who already enjoys silent movies will be interested in this one. Within just a few years, film-makers would learn many better and more efficient ways of setting up and telling a lengthy story. Bara is also the only performer here whose performance is of particular interest. But there is more than enough here to make it worth seeing if you like the silents.

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