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Carl Theodor Dreyer
An Austrian military officer and roue' attempts to seduce the wife of a surgeon. The two men confront each other in a test of abilities that ends surprisingly. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A doctor (Sam DeGrasse) and his wife (Francelia Billington) travel to the Dolemites in Northern Italy where their rocky marriage shows. The doctor pays very little attention to his beautiful wife, which an Austrian military officer (Erich von Stroheim) notices and decides to try and seduce her. After viewing this film I must admit that I was rather shocked about all the positive reviews it has received over the past several decades. Apparently the film was very popular when it was first released, which is shocking too because I found the film to be way too simple. Half way through I really started to think I was watching a film by D.W. Griffith due to how simple the story structure was. It's pretty simple as we have a lazy husband, a bored wife and a jerk who wants her. There's no problem in keeping all of this simple but the issue I had with the entire film is that I found all the characters to be under-written. We never learn why the doctor is so uninterested in his wife. We never learn why the wife puts up with it. She never mentions anything to the husband and instead just sits back doing nothing. We get a few hints at the type of person the military officer is but von Stroheim's story really doesn't give him too many details either. This type of simple storytelling can be effective but I found a lot of the 91-minutes here just to wonder on without anything either going for them or the scenes just leading to no where. Many of them just run on and on for no apparent reason so perhaps a good ten-minutes edited out would have helped the flow of the film. The issues with the story are the main problem and the rest is pretty good. The performances by the three leads make the film worth viewing and of course von Stroheim stands out as the creepy. You can tell he's having a good time playing this jerk and it looks rather effortless so perhaps he's just playing himself. The opening credits explain the situation of the film and it's written as if the director was trying to explain himself to many husbands out there. I found Billington to be extremely effective as well as she does a very good job at showing the character's boredom without going over the top. Another plus is the vision of the director as each scene has a very nice look and the cinematography really packs a nice punch. BLIND HUSBANDS is far from a bad movie but at the same time I just didn't think there was enough here to make it a classic or something that is a must see.
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