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The idle son of a rich businessman joins the army when the U.S.A. enters World War One. He is sent to France, where he becomes friends with two working-class soldiers. He also falls in love... See full summary »
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"Count" Karanzim, a Don Juan is with his cousins in Monte Carlo, living from faked money and the money he gets from rich ladies, who are attracted by his charmes and his title or his militaristic and aristocratic behaviour. He tries to have success with Mrs Hughes, the wife of the new US ambassador. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <email@example.com>
Erich von Stroheim's excesses on the film also included ordering lavish evening gowns from Paris, silk stockings, and monogrammed silk underwear for his actors to wear so they could "feel more like aristocrats." He decorated his sets with real porcelain, tapestries and crystal chandeliers. At banquet scenes he insisted on using real champagne and caviar. When asked by a studio executive why he couldn't substitute ginger ale and blackberry jam as props for the champagne and caviar, von Stroheim replied, "Because my actors will know the difference, I will know the difference, and the camera will know the difference." See more »
When the Count seats Mrs. Hughes at the roulette table, she is wearing a different gown than the one in the rest of the scene. See more »
Normally I enjoy watching old movies from the '20's, even the more slower paced one's but this movie just didn't do it for me, although it also is of course far from the worst I have ever seen.
The movie has a good enough story but it isn't exactly the most intriguing or tense stories to follow. Lots of sequences don't seem to have a relevant enough importance. It might have to do with the fact that the original length of the movie was over 6 hours long, which might had shown some of the relevance of certain sequences and characters but there is really no way I'm ever going to watch this longer version. The movie was already overlong as it was. The movie didn't had very much interesting drama in it and although the main character seemed intriguing, it just didn't worked out powerful enough in the movie.
The movie also isn't as technically advanced as some of the other movies from the same time period, clearly directed by more talented and more experimental directors such as F.W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, Victor Sjöström and D.W. Griffith, among others.
But this all of course doesn't mean that the movie is a bad one to watch. The story of a fake Russian aristocratic lady-killer in Monte Carlo trying to get money from rich ladies as on its own quite a good story and in a way for movie standards also ahead of its time. Many more movies like this one, in many different forms were made and are still being made, many years later now. In this particular case this is a movie I wouldn't mind seeing remade, perhaps also with some more humor in it and a more clear message. The movie also uses some quite good camera positions, on a positive note.
Also the acting is good enough, though Miss DuPont seems heavily miscast as a pretty 21 year young girl. She is too old looking for her role and she also most certainly wasn't pretty enough to find the story very convincing. Same perhaps goes for Dale Fuller. Erich von Stroheim plays the real main part of the movie and he does this with lots of flair. He also wrote and directed the movie. Laurel & Hardy regular Mae Busch shows up in a serious role for a change and it was refreshing to see her like that for a change.
Certainly a watchable movie but really no essential viewing in my opinion.
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