IMDb > Foolish Wives (1922)
Foolish Wives
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Foolish Wives (1922) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   1,980 votes »
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Release Date:
11 January 1922 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Von Stroheim's Million Dollar Photo-play. See more »
Plot:
A con artist masquerades a Russian nobility and attempts to seduce the wife of an American diplomat. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(7 articles)
The Birds, Inglourious Basterds Actor Taylor Dead at 84
 (From Alt Film Guide. 8 January 2015, 6:41 PM, PST)

Jean Grémillon: Realism and Tragedy
 (From MUBI. 30 November 2014, 9:23 AM, PST)

Throwback Thursday: Von Stroheim!
 (From Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy. 27 August 2014, 9:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Very Good With a What If... See more (18 total) »

Cast

  (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


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Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Erich von Stroheim's attention to detail was such that he ordered an engraver to print copies of French money as props for the movie (he was playing the role of a counterfeiter). Unfortunately, the money printed was realistic enough that, shortly before shooting began, von Stroheim was arrested and hauled into court on counterfeiting charges. He escaped punishment by arguing to the judge that "the money was for use in pictures only."See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the original actor playing Mr. Hughes died in the middle of filming, he was replaced by a double, who completed his scenes with his back mostly to the camera. Apparently, however, nobody noticed that the original actor had significantly darker hair than his replacement. Therefore, Mr. Hughes's hair turns white in several scenes, including the sequence where his wife says goodbye to him in the casino, and his confrontation with the count at the villa.See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in Three Foolish Weeks (1924)See more »

FAQ

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Very Good With a What If..., 12 September 2010
Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY

Foolish Wives (1922)

*** (out of 4)

von Stroheim's third feature (his second is now lost) had a budget of $250,000, which was quite high for the time but the "man who love to hate" managed to grow crazy during production and the final cost to Universal was just over $1.2 million. The director also managed to turn in a film running six-and-a-half hour only to have the studio cut it down to three-and-a-half. Still not short enough it was cut down to two-and-a-half and this is what it was originally released to. The studio would cut it again to 73-minutes, which is the version that would be shown for years until a 120-minute cut was discovered. Finally, using prints from five different locations, Kino's DVD restores the film to 142-minutes, which to date is the longest surviving cut. Using so many prints has left the quality quite shaky and poor but it is the film that counts.

Set in Monte Carlo, Count Sergius Karamzin (von Stroheim), with the help of his two cousins, lives a luxury life thanks to his ability to seduce married women and then blackmail them for money. His latest target is an American Miss DuPont) who is rather bored with her husband. The story is fairly close to that used in BLIND HUSBANDS and many ways this here seems like an alternate and more epic version of it. I felt BLIND HUSBANDS wondered a bit too long so I was a little nervous watching a longer version of it but this one here turned out to be much better all around. I'm not sure if the story would have worked at over six-hours but I'm going to guess that the longer version probably features more plot built around other characters including a maid as well as the two cousins who are more than likely lovers to the Count. It's impossible to discuss this movie without its budget but you can look at the screen and see where the money went to. von Stroheim actually rebuild the entire Monte Carlo city on the Universal back lot and the attention to details is quite amazing. Not for a second will you feel that you on a lot and it's a rather staggering achievement that the director was able to pull this off but then again it shows what a madman the director was. Apparently even the scenes where they are eating caviar had to use the most expensive caviar because the director wanted everything real. The story here is much better written than the previous film and you can tell that each character has their own bit of story and I think there reasons for doing everything are much better written and explained. The performances by von Stroheim and DuPont are both excellent and they work extremely well together. von Stroheim has no problem slipping into this snake role and he does a great job at playing the seducer as well as the con man. DuPont makes for a great victim as you can actually feel how soft and vulnerable she is. Even though the film is epic in scale, some of the best moments are smaller, quiet ones including a tremendously powerful scene where DuPont reacts to a man who has lost both of his arms in the war. The way this scene plays out is incredibly touching and perhaps the most powerful scene in the film. Another excellent scene happens when the maid, apparently another lover, finally realizes that she's been played all these years. Her breakdown is very effective and heartfelt. The ending has a spectacular fire sequence that contains some nice drama and the ending is pretty funny. The film being chopped down obviously leaves some flow issues but overall this is a much better film than BLIND HUSBANDS and one that really does fit the epic label. We'll never know if the uncut version is a masterpiece or not but what survives is a good indication of what might have been.

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