6.9/10
1,190
12 user 15 critic

Blind Husbands (1919)

Not Rated | | Drama , Romance | 7 December 1919 (USA)
An Austrian officer sets out to seduce a neglected young wife.

Director:

Erich von Stroheim (as Erich Stroheim)

Writers:

Erich von Stroheim (book) (as Erich Stroheim), Erich von Stroheim (adaption) (as Erich Stroheim) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Lady Mary Lasenby is a spoiled maiden who always gets her way until shipwrecked with her butler, then learns which qualities are really admirable in a person.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Theodore Roberts, Raymond Hatton
J'accuse! (1919)
Drama | Horror | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of two men, one married, the other the lover of the other's wife, who meet in the trenches of the First World War, and how their tale becomes a microcosm for the horrors of war.

Director: Abel Gance
Stars: Romuald Joubé, Maxime Desjardins, Séverin-Mars
Foolish Wives (1922)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Rudolph Christians, Miss DuPont, Maude George
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A stranger comes to work at widow Halla's farm. Halla and the stranger fall in love, but when he is revealed as Eyvind, an escaped thief forced into crime by his family's starvation, they ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Edith Erastoff, John Ekman
The Doll (1919)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Because the Baron of Chanterelle wants to preserve his family line, he forces his timid nephew Lancelot to choose one of the village maidens to wed. Lancelot flees to a monastery to escape ... See full summary »

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Ossi Oswalda, Hermann Thimig, Victor Janson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An American heiress seeks the hand of an impoverished German prince.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Victor Janson, Ossi Oswalda, Harry Liedtke
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three Scottish officers, including Sir Archi, murder Sir Arne and his household for a coffin filled with gold. The only survivor is Elsalill, who moves to relatives in Marstrand. There she ... See full summary »

Director: Mauritz Stiller
Stars: Erik Stocklassa, Bror Berger, Richard Lund
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two male musicians fall in love, but blackmail and scandal makes the affair take a tragic turn.

Director: Richard Oswald
Stars: Conrad Veidt, Leo Connard, Ilse von Tasso-Lind
Regeneration (1915)
Certificate: Passed Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A boy surrounded by violence grows up to become an infamous gangster.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Rockliffe Fellowes, Anna Q. Nilsson, William Sheer
The Blue Bird (1918)
Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two peasant children, Mytyl and Tyltyl, are led by Berylune, a fairy, to search for the Blue Bird of Happiness. Berylune gives Tyltyl a cap with a diamond setting, and when Tyltyl turns the... See full summary »

Director: Maurice Tourneur
Stars: Tula Belle, Robin Macdougall, Edwin E. Reed
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of Madame DuBarry, the mistress of Louis XV of France, and her loves in the time of the French revolution.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Pola Negri, Emil Jannings, Harry Liedtke
Ingeborg Holm (1913)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Single mother is separated from her children due to financial struggles.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Hilda Borgström, Aron Lindgren, Erik Lindholm
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sam De Grasse ... The Husband, Dr. Robert Armstrong
Francelia Billington ... The Wife, Margaret Armstrong
Erich von Stroheim ... The Other Man, Lt. Erich von Steuben
Gibson Gowland ... The Mountain Guide, Sepp Innerkofler (as T.H. Gibson Gowland)
Fay Holderness Fay Holderness ... The 'Vamp' Waitress
Ruby Kendrick Ruby Kendrick ... A Village Blossom
Valerie Germonprez Valerie Germonprez ... Honeymooner
Jack Perrin ... Honeymooner
Richard Cummings Richard Cummings ... The Village Physician
Louis Fitzroy Louis Fitzroy ... The Village Priest
William De Vaull William De Vaull ... Man from 'Home'
Jack Mathis Jack Mathis ... Man from 'Home'
Percy Challenger Percy Challenger ... Man from 'Home'
Edit

Storyline

An Austrian military officer and roue' attempts to seduce the wife of a surgeon. The two men confront each other in a test of abilities that ends surprisingly. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 December 1919 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pinnacle See more »

Filming Locations:

Südtirol, Italy See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$42,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,000,000, 1 December 1919
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (color toned)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The studio insisted on cutting the film instead of letting Erich von Stroheim do it as he was deemed to be too unstable after allegedly killing a dog during production. Von Stroheim would ensure they didn't do this to him on his next film The Devil's Passkey (1920) by barricading himself into the editing suite with a loaded Winchester. See more »

Goofs

In one shot, when the wife walks across her bedroom, a spotlight beam is visible on the ground following her. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Universal Story (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Delightful alpine movie - review of the Austrian version

This is a review of the Austrian version of the film, which is available on the R2 Edition Filmmuseum DVD. I believe it is also available in the States on Kino DVD in the truncated American version that has a different sentiment.

Blind Husbands is a story about folks holidaying in the alps (Cortina specifically). The main characters are a famous American surgeon, his wife Maguerite, and Leutnant von Steuben, a German military man (the filmmuseum English subtitles are a bit misleading here because they translate the intertitles referring to him as an impostor, whereas I believe von Stroheim's intention was to portray him as someone unfit to wear the uniform rather than literally not allowed to wear it). Von Steuben is played by von Stroheim himself.

He's meant to be a philanderer of married women. He looks the part, excepting that he is actually very short, shorter in fact than Maguerite. The world may have changed a lot in ninety years, but I doubt the women back then were too different from women today who are generally unable to take the advances of men shorter than themselves seriously.

I'll give the world and the female race the benefit of the doubt for the movie's sake. Von Steuben is after a clinch with Maguerite, but he's already had a squeeze with two of the hotel serving girls by the time he gets round to her. He's got a soft target really, because the husband is much too self-involved to notice that his wife is feeling lonely and in need of rekindling. Obviously where the title "Blind Husbands" arises from.

There's quite a lovely dinner scene outside the hotel in Cortina at night, there's all these paper lanterns in lines interspersed with the permanent hotel lanterns, very pretty really. Maguerite excuses herself from the hubbub and goes inside to play the piano. Whilst sat at the piano we see her head shot against a totally black background, quite an unusual shot for a film of any era. It's at this point that she appears totally alone, not just lonely, but alone. Back to the normal shot and Steuben has sidled in. He picks up a violin and starts to play a duet. What a powerful thing to do to one in such a suggestive frame of mind! Part two of the plan is to buy her the marquetry box that hubby was too busy to notice that she wanted. It's apparently two hundred years old, the design on the lid is all lozenges and grains, really reminded me very much of a Matisse type pattern, we get a lovely close up of it.

As it happens there are another two shots against a dark background, one of a bell ringing in the bell tower (to mourn the dead) and one of von Steuben pointing his grubby finger at Maguerite.

Most of the film basically concerns the von Steuben/Maguerite cat and mouse game. Can't blame him for chasing Maguerite really, my favourite shot of her was her wearing these lovely antique sunglasses with wildflowers in the back of her alpinist hat band. The movie is all shot really quite sympathetically, I'd almost call it realism, a surprising term for a 1919 film! According to others the level of mise en scene is apparently not up to Foolish Wives or Greed standard, but I'll go with it on an absolute basis.

If you see the movie as containing realism, then the ending is a bit of a cop-out, a sop to dramatic cliché. However we'll let Erich off as it still kind of works. The movie turns into a bit of a bergfilm at the end, American superman, surgeon, strong, weakling German braggart, this being totally exposed as they climb the mountain, having been rather sotto voce before.

The only silly part of the film concerns the shadow of an eagle, which is blatantly produced by a crude silhouette hanging on the end of a wire (unless eagles can fly backwards), yikes! Other than that though I thought the movie was brilliant.


2 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed