7.3/10
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Foolish Wives (1922)

A con artist masquerades a Russian nobility and attempts to seduce the wife of an American diplomat.

Director:

(as Erich Von Stroheim)

Writers:

(story and scenario) (as Erich Von Stroheim), (titles) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rudolph Christians ...
Andrew J. Hughes - U.S. Special-Envoy to Monaco
...
Helen - His Wife (as Miss Dupont)
...
Her Highness - Princess Olga Petchnikoff
...
Her Cousin - Princess Vera Petchnikoff
...
Their Cousin - Count Sergius Karamzin - Capt. 3rd Hussars Imper. Russian Army (as Erich Von Stroheim)
...
Maruschka - a Maid
Albert Edmondson ...
Pavel Pavlich - a Butler (as Al Edmondson)
Cesare Gravina ...
Cesare Ventucci - a Counterfeiter
Malvina Polo ...
Marietta - His Half-witted Daughter (as Malvine Polo)
C.J. Allen ...
Albert 1 - Prince of Monaco
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Storyline

"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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Wonderful Picture in America See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1922 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esposas Ingênuas  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original) | (Ontario) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A new attempt to piece back together the most complete version of "Foolish Wives".
18 May 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Erich Von Stroheim is a very, very odd character in the history of cinema. He made several films which nearly bankrupted the studios due to his insane insistence of complete realism--to the point of absurdity. In the cases of "Greed" and "Foolish Wives" he also delivered films which were impossibly long--so long that audiences of the day never would have sat through movies of six or more hours in length! According to many, he delighted in bankrupting the studios and had perhaps the most adversarial relationship with the studios of any filmmaker in history. As a result, the studios severely cut his films to the point where they were barely Von Stroheim projects...and for years people have been saying that his ORIGINAL films, uncut, were works of genius...though without having seen the original films (as only a tiny number of studio execs did), who's to say that he was right and the studios wrong?! It's one of those mysteries we'll never solve, as the films only exist in truncated versions...though the folks who restored "Foolish Wives" tried their best to restore the missing 2/3 of the film. The prologue admits that it was not entirely successful as too much of the movie simply no longer exists. So, they pieced together what they had and tried to re-assemble the missing portions as best they could. Keep this in mind when you're seeing the movie...it's not Von Stroheim's film but it's also not the general release either.

The film begins just after WWI and is set in Monte Carlo. Three worthless Russian nobles live there and they are thieves who live through stealing from others. But they maintain a very solid image...that of noble and virtuous folk. Sergius (Von Stroheim) is a cad and plans on using the American Ambassador's wife to make a fortune and a false sense of respectability...all in order to help his poor cousins, the Princesses, to live in luxury. How? Well, by hanging out with respectable folks, the assumption is that the forged money he and his cousins gamble with will be assumed to be real...and readily accepted by the casinos. Plus, Sergius plans on hitting up this woman for money...money that she will gladly give him after he seduces her. Is this all there is to his infamy...nope. Along the way, he seduces several women!

Overall, this is a very watchable film and generally didn't seem disjoint...at least until the ending. At this point, the film jumped about a bit and seemed to be pieced together. As a result, I'd give the film a 7--a very good film but one that suffered, a bit, from being too melodramatic at times as well as being a bit weak at the end.


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