IMDb > Foolish Wives (1922)
Foolish Wives
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Foolish Wives (1922) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 14 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.3/10   2,138 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Foolish Wives on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 January 1922 (USA) See more »
Von Stroheim's Million Dollar Photo-play. See more »
A con artist masquerades a Russian nobility and attempts to seduce the wife of an American diplomat. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
The Construction of Reality See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Rudolph Christians ... Andrew J. Hughes - U.S. Special-Envoy to Monaco

Miss DuPont ... Helen - His Wife (as Miss Dupont)

Maude George ... Her Highness - Princess Olga Petchnikoff

Mae Busch ... Her Cousin - Princess Vera Petchnikoff

Erich von Stroheim ... Their Cousin - Count Sergius Karamzin - Capt. 3rd Hussars Imper. Russian Army (as Erich Von Stroheim)

Dale Fuller ... 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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Nigel De Brulier ... Monk (uncredited)

Robert Edeson ... Andrew J. Hughes (uncredited)
Agnes Emerson ... Bit Role (uncredited)

Louise Emmons ... Mother Garoupe (uncredited)

Harrison Ford ... Rude Soldier / Armless Soldier (uncredited)
Valerie Germonprez ... Extra (uncredited)
Mrs. Kent ... Dr. Judd's Wife (uncredited)
Mme. Kopetzky ... Actress (uncredited)

Mary Philbin ... Crippled Girl (uncredited)
Edward Reinach ... Secretary of State of Monaco (uncredited)
Louis K. Webb ... Dr. Judd (uncredited)

Directed by
Erich von Stroheim  (as Erich Von Stroheim)
Writing credits
Erich von Stroheim (story and scenario) (as Erich Von Stroheim)

Marian Ainslee (titles) &
Walter Anthony (titles)

Erich von Stroheim  titles (uncredited)

Produced by
Irving Thalberg .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
András Hamary (1999)
Sigmund Romberg 
Cinematography by
William H. Daniels (photography) (as William Daniels)
Ben F. Reynolds (photography) (as Ben Reynolds)
Film Editing by
Arthur Lennig (reconstruction) (1989 version)
Arthur Ripley (film editor)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack R. Proctor .... assistant director
Edward Sowders .... assistant director (as Edward A. Sowders)
Louis Germonprez .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Richard Day .... architect (as Capt. Richard Day)
Elmer Sheeley .... architect
Van Alstein .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Harry Joe Brown .... illumination and lighting effects (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Daniel Mandell .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Bob Roberts .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Edward Sowders .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Julius Stern .... supervising editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Steve Sterner .... music composed by (1989 version)
Steve Sterner .... music performed by (1989 version)
Frank Strobel .... conductor (1999)
J. Frank Cork .... conductor: premiere (uncredited)
J. Frank Cork .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Carl Laemmle .... presenter
R.H. Cochrane .... publicity chief (uncredited)
Robert Edeson .... double: Rudolph Christians (uncredited)
J. Lambert .... research assistant (uncredited)
Gustav Machatý .... assistant: Mr. Stroheim (uncredited)
William Meyers .... technical director (uncredited)
James R. Sullivan .... technical director (uncredited)
George Williams .... technical director (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
117 min | Sweden:384 min (original version) | Canada:140 min (Ontario) | USA:107 min (TCM print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Canada:G (Ontario) | Sweden:15

Did You Know?

The most expensive part of the movie were the lavish sets, built at Universal Studios. The sets featured a full exterior replica of Monte Carlo, complete with an artificial lake. The total cost of the sets was $421,000. Erich von Stroheim said in an interview that he ought to know what Monte Carlo looked like, for he had been "busted there twice."See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
22 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
The Construction of Reality, 20 April 2007
Author: hasosch from United States

Erich von Stroheim (1885-1957) was a man with many realities. He was born into a poor Jewish family in Vienna, tried to join the Habsburgian army but was rejected, flew to the United States and started as a swimming instructor and boat guide. How he managed to meet David Griffith is unclear, but finally Griffith appointed von Stroheim as assistant director for his "Intolerance" (1916). It is hard to imagine how such different characters like Griffith and von Stroheim could get along with one another, but I assume that the most important feature that they shared was their megalomania. Soon after, von Stroheim started his career as director and actor, although he had no education at all – not in theater, not in film business, not in literature. But this did not prevent him either to write screenplays.

After his debut with Griffith, he changed his identity and invented a new one. He added the predicate "von" to his name, told everybody that he is the descendant of a family of Viennese nobles and had made a carrier as an imperial officer in the Habsburgian army. Von Stroheim trained so long, until he could perfectly imitate the behavior of all ranks from a colonel up to a general, from a prince up to a count. And these were the roles that he should play mostly during his whole life: counts, barons, captains, lieutenants, majors, generals. He played them until he believed that he was what he played: the borders between his seeming and his being became more and more fluid. It therefore would be a terrible mistake to assume that Erich von Stroheim was a liar, a cheater and a betrayer. Similar to Don Quixote, he constructed his own reality, including his identity – and believed in it himself.

Strangely enough, although von Stroheim directed only about 10 movies, but acted in in 74, he is nowadays known mainly as a director. Once arrived in the United States, the Habsburgian monarchy was broken together already, so nobody could check if Erich von Stroheim was an Austrian noble, an officer or not. In his very personal way, von Stroheim took the famous passage of the Declaration of Independence more seriously than many other Americans or peoples who became Americans: the breaking-up of his own past and scooping out fully his chances in the land of unlimited possibilities. However, in creating his personal reality, he was obliged to maximal authenticity. So von Stroheim for example reconstructed meticulously the Casino of Monte Carlo for his movie "Foolish wives" (1922). Instead of using raspberry jam as imitation for caviar he had imported original Russian Beluga caviar – extremely expensive and hard to get so shortly after World War I. The movie was the hitherto most expensive film, it cost over one million of dollars. Von Stroheim's megalomania – caused by his obsession for authenticity in order to convince not only the public but mostly himself about his creations of reality – leaded finally to the end of his directing career in the United States – and also inaugurated much later his fame as the most extravagant film director ever.

Married to Valérie Germonpréz, Erich von Stroheim met already in the United States his secretary and later life-mate Denise Vernac (1916-1984), who was 31 years younger than him. Although he never divorced from his wife, he finally left the U.S. after his failure as a director and lacking film roles. He settled to France in the castle of his girlfriend who enabled von Stroheim to continue his life of self-creation. He always wore his golden watch and bracelet, his stick with silver knob and dressed like a baron. Totally unaware that he could never reestablish himself as a film director, he continued writing screenplays that would never be filmed. His style of writing was so clumsy that he could not even publish the novels that he also wrote. He drew whole film scenarios that never would be put in scene. Meanwhile he appeared in main roles in French and again in American movies in which he played his usual roles in order to forget that he sat, as a director, unnoticed by the world in the castle of his girlfriend, writing letters of love to his wife, but fully depending financially on his girlfriend, his only public performances being his showing-ups in Paris' most expensive high-society restaurant "Maxims" where everybody knew him. In order to get there from Maurepas, where von Stroheim and Denise Vernac lived, they had to drive each evening a long way. Often, von Stroheim presented himself in the restaurant in the costumes of the barons and generals that he played on screen: the borders between reality and fantasy were abolished. However, he did not lack a special kind of self-irony, and this is shown best in "Foolish wives", where a girl is reading a book with the same title, allegedly written by Erich von Stroheim or in another movie where he played a megalomaniac film director. But nevertheless, he acted in real life, and his life of self-creation was doubtless his greatest role. In this context, is seems almost ironical that only a few days before his death the state of France appointed him knight of the honorary legion: Erich von Stroheim's only real award that was not created by himself.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (19 total) »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Greed The English Patient The Scarlet Empress Gone with the Wind Gosford Park
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.