7.3/10
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Foolish Wives (1922)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 11 January 1922 (USA)
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 Hughes (as Miss Dupont)
...
Princess Olga Petchnikoff
...
Princess Vera Petchnikoff
...
Count Sergius Karamzin - Capt. 3rd Hussars Imper. Russian Army (as Erich Von Stroheim)
...
Maruschka
Albert Edmondson ...
Pavel Pavlich (as Al Edmondson)
Cesare Gravina ...
Cesare Ventucci
Malvina Polo ...
Marietta Ventucci (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:

Not Rated | 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)

Gross:

$400,200 (USA) (31 December 1922)
 »

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

After six months in the editing room, Erich von Stroheim turned over his cut of the film to Universal Pictures in December of 1921. The film was 32 reels and eight hours long, but von Stroheim insisted it was now "a perfect story." When asked how it would be possible to present 32 reels for an evening's entertainment, he replied, "That's a detail I hadn't time to bother about" (the magazine "Photoplay" suggested that the movie should be re-titled, "Foolish Directors," and released as a serial). Universal took over the movie and edited it down to 14 reels, with a 210-minute running time. Von Stroheim hated the shorter version, complaining that all that was left of his masterpiece was "the bones." See more »

Goofs

When Marushka is pleading with the Count to marry her, at the start of the scene he has a black, mourning armband on his upper left arm. When a different perspective is shown, the armband is gone. A few seconds later, the armband is back, where it stays for the rest of the scene. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Moving Picture Boys in the Great War (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One Beautiful Film!
6 February 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Without a doubt, "Foolish Wives" is one of the biggest surprises when it comes to the quality of a film. When I was about a half hour into the film, I wasn't particularly enjoying it all. The sets were nice, Erich Von Stroheim was, obviously, pretty great, and it certainly wasn't boring, but there wasn't much happening. Well, now that I've seen the entire film I can confirm that by the time it all ends, a whole lot has sure happened!

Mixing various elements of humor, drama, and suspense, Stroheim invents a true one of a kind masterpiece, a true silent era gem. If your bored during the early stages of "Foolish Wives", don't give up because it truly is an epic picture!

When reflecting on the experience of viewing "Foolish Wives", certain scenes certainly do come to mind. Scenes like the huge storm that Stroheim's character gets stuck in and has to find his way out of, or the grand fire sequence towards the end, which I would hate to spoil (just let me tell you, it is truly spectacular and thrilling to watch).

The characters are certainly unlikable at times, but that doesn't mean they aren't entertaining or even funny to watch be their awful selves every now and then. No matter how repulsive Stroheim's character manages to be at times, I still always wanted to see more of him, because he really does bring in a lot of the true entertainment value.

Other than the excellent story and characters, I absolutely loved "Foolish Wives" for being a technical masterwork, with it's grand set design, cinematography, and filmmaking techniques. This is no bland silent film, this is a marvel of moving and breathtaking style. The previously mentioned storm and fire sequences are made exceptionally well made, giving the film a more grand and epic feel.

I'd recommend this film for anybody willing to sit through something like it because, in the end, it really is one spectacular watch.


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