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Foolish Wives

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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(Sep 19, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

A beautiful reconstruction of Erich von Stroheim's classic silent feature. Publicized as the first film to cost a million dollars, "Foolish Wives" was at once praised for its extravagant visual design and condemned for its portrayal of a rogue count's unbridled and often peculiar sexual obsessions. The plot concerns the actions of the "Count" and two of his mistresses posing as his cousins as they set about separating rich ladies from their fortunes. In every way characteristic of writer/director/star von Stroheim's greatest works, "Foolish Wives" has over time gained a reputation as the great director's other masterwork, ranking second only to "Greed." The film is mastered from the original restored print.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: C.J. Allen, Mae Busch, Rudolph Christians, Nigel De Brulier, Miss DuPont
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Silent
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 19, 2000
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004W19G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,623 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Foolish Wives" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In 1922, Universal Pictures commissioned Erich von Stroheim to direct, write, and star in "Foolish Wives". His first film, "Blind Husbands",was quite a hit. His second film, "Devil's Passkey", has turned to dust. Prof. Arthur Lennig has edited the clearest scenes from 2 Italian versions of this ancient classic, and for the first time you may see and own the most complete edition of "Foolish Wives" in startling DVD. Green and orange sepia toned sequences alter the mood and story. "Foolish Wives" opens with von Stroheim munching on real caviar and Russian cigarettes as he gazes out of his oceanside chateau with his two female consorts. This begins his story of a bogus European count out to defraud and seduce unwary American tourists' wives. The first film to sport a Million Dollar budget, von Stroheim reconstructed an authentic replica of the Monte Carlo casino on the Universal back lot. A tour of Universal Studios today reveals no trace of this once famous set. I recommend this tale of kinky sex and mild debauchery as it winds down to a surprise ending. Just three years later, he directed "Greed" at MGM. It is now considered among the one-or-two greatest films of alltime. Eventually, Hollywood studios barred Erich von Stroheim from directing any more lavish, expensive epics. They said his style was over-rated. They've been copying and re-inventing it ever since.
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Format: DVD
Erich Von Stroheim was an absolute genius and brought the art of movie making to new heights. In a time when many films consisted of room shots with the individuals in frame overacting to compensate for the lack of sound, Stroheim was developing complex characters, plot twists and subtle nuances. He understood that a certain look, movement of the eyes, or quick smile could tell an audience more about a character than 10 title cards.
"Foolish Wives" is genuinely wonderful film that shows Erich Von Stroheim at one of his best moments; Not only writing & directing, but starring in the film itself as a hoaxing opportunist very much addicted to using women and very much in need of money. He finds a vulnerable woman that allows him to begin weaving his web of seduction over her emotional and financial state.
"Foolish Wives" is an excellent film, compared to silents and talkies alike, "Foolish Wives" holds it's own.
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Format: VHS Tape
Von Stroheim's tale of a foolish wife of an American Ambassador falling for a lecherous and amoral count (Von Stroheim) still has the power to fascinate and manipulate audiences. Stroheim's attention to detail gives amazing psychological depth to the characters with some lurid details thrown in for good measure. A tale of amorality that almost goes too far until it is all redeemed with the lead character being dumped in a sewer-where he belonged. A great film with a dramatic story that holds up quite well today.
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Format: Blu-ray
They called him "the man you loved to hate," and that might have been the feeling that some moviegoers had for director Erich Von Stroheim. And that was for sure the feeling that some movie executives had for him, especially the legendary Irving Thalberg, who some consider the best producer ever. The majestic and delightful "Foolish Wives" is a testament of Von Stroheim's appetite for big budgets and out-of-control behavior, the ones that he was famous for. However, it is also a testament of his grandiosity as both an actor and director. Referred to as the "first million-dollar picture," "Foolish Wives" is now available in a glorious Blu-ray edition, thanks to the folks at Kino-Lorber.

The film opens in Monte Carlo -- "Europe's playground" --, and we are immediately taken to Villa Amo Rosa, "secluded and leased for the season by three members of the Russian aristocracy (or so we are told): Princess Olga Petchnikoff (Maude George), Princess Vera Petchnikoff (Mae Busch), and their cousin, Count Wladislaw Sergius Karamzin (also a Captain in the Russian Army)." They also have a maid, Maruschka (Dale Fuller), who is clandestinely in love with Count Karamzin. They live an apparent idyllic life - caviar for breakfast--, but in the underneath, they are in desperate need of money. Enter Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Hughes (Rudolph Christians and Miss Dupont, respectively), who would be arriving to Monaco, with Mr. Hughes being the commissioner plenipotentiary from the United States. Mr. Hughes would be meeting Monaco's officials to present them with his credentials. Count Karamzin immediately sees an opportunity there, and eventually befriends them, with the objective of conquering Mrs, Hughes' heart (and money), telling them that he wanted to be a "kind protector" to them.
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Format: Amazon Video
Stroheim was a unique filmmaker and actor. The setting is Monte Carlo in 1921 with Stroheim, Gladys George and Mae Busch as frauds and blackmailers. The foolish wife is fooled by Stroheim's masquerade as a poor, but noble, Russian officer.
She comes close to being seduced but escapes and learns the true value of her husband. The film is a more complex follow up to Blind Husbands, 1919.
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Format: DVD
Once more the genius of Erich von Stroheim can be appreciated in this superb and mature film. The astonishing handle of the camera and the facial expressions have in him an eloquent and perfect ambassador. Sobriety, charm and exquisite good taste are the real difference.
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