7.2/10
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22 user 28 critic

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:

Erich von Stroheim (as Erich Von Stroheim)

Writers:

Erich von Stroheim (story and scenario) (as Erich Von Stroheim), Marian Ainslee (titles) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rudolph Christians 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 Albert Edmondson ... Pavel Pavlich (as Al Edmondson)
Cesare Gravina Cesare Gravina ... Cesare Ventucci
Malvina Polo Malvina Polo ... Marietta Ventucci (as Malvine Polo)
C.J. Allen 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:

It cost $1,104,000 See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 1922 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esposas Ingênuas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,100,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$400,200, 31 December 1922
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original) | (Ontario) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Initially budgeted at $250,000, the film's production soared above $1 million, thanks to Erich von Stroheim's excesses. He started shooting in July 1920 and kept going for 11 months, until he was taken off the picture in June 1921. Afraid that the movie might bankrupt Universal, studio chief Carl Laemmle sent his assistant, 21-year-old Irving Thalberg, from New York to Hollywood to try to get von Stroheim to finish the film. When Thalberg threatened to replace him with another director, von Stroheim laughed in his face, pointing out that he was the star of the movie as well as the director; if he were replaced, the movie would never be finished. However, Thalberg outsmarted him. He carefully watched production on the picture and, when he thought enough footage had been shot to make up a story, took von Stroheim's cameras away, reminding the director that they were studio property. For proving his mettle against von Stroheim, Laemmle made Thalberg the new head of production at Universal Pictures. See more »

Goofs

When the Count seats Mrs. Hughes at the roulette table, she is wearing a different gown than the one in the rest of the scene. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally produced at a running time of 6 hours, 24 minutes. Cut to 3 1/2 hours for its premiere, and then to 2 1/2 hours for general release. It was later cut again to 73 minutes. Years later, a 120-minute print was released. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Three Foolish Weeks (1924) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It just couldn't grab me.
28 March 2007 | by Boba_Fett1138See all my reviews

Normally I enjoy watching old movies from the '20's, even the more slower paced one's but this movie just didn't do it for me, although it also is of course far from the worst I have ever seen.

The movie has a good enough story but it isn't exactly the most intriguing or tense stories to follow. Lots of sequences don't seem to have a relevant enough importance. It might have to do with the fact that the original length of the movie was over 6 hours long, which might had shown some of the relevance of certain sequences and characters but there is really no way I'm ever going to watch this longer version. The movie was already overlong as it was. The movie didn't had very much interesting drama in it and although the main character seemed intriguing, it just didn't worked out powerful enough in the movie.

The movie also isn't as technically advanced as some of the other movies from the same time period, clearly directed by more talented and more experimental directors such as F.W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, Victor Sjöström and D.W. Griffith, among others.

But this all of course doesn't mean that the movie is a bad one to watch. The story of a fake Russian aristocratic lady-killer in Monte Carlo trying to get money from rich ladies as on its own quite a good story and in a way for movie standards also ahead of its time. Many more movies like this one, in many different forms were made and are still being made, many years later now. In this particular case this is a movie I wouldn't mind seeing remade, perhaps also with some more humor in it and a more clear message. The movie also uses some quite good camera positions, on a positive note.

Also the acting is good enough, though Miss DuPont seems heavily miscast as a pretty 21 year young girl. She is too old looking for her role and she also most certainly wasn't pretty enough to find the story very convincing. Same perhaps goes for Dale Fuller. Erich von Stroheim plays the real main part of the movie and he does this with lots of flair. He also wrote and directed the movie. Laurel & Hardy regular Mae Busch shows up in a serious role for a change and it was refreshing to see her like that for a change.

Certainly a watchable movie but really no essential viewing in my opinion.

6/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/


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