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

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7.3/10   2,301 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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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:
A new attempt to piece back together the most complete version of "Foolish Wives". See more (20 total) »


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

Miss DuPont ... Helen Hughes (as Miss Dupont)

Maude George ... Princess Olga Petchnikoff

Mae Busch ... Princess Vera Petchnikoff

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

Dale Fuller ... 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
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:

Did You Know?

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 »
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:
Featured in A Silent Love (2004)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
A new attempt to piece back together the most complete version of "Foolish Wives"., 18 May 2016
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

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'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 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 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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