Foolish Wives (1922)


I don't know if this guy was lascivious or hungry. Terrible acting!
I don't know if this guy was lascivious or hungry. Terrible acting!

Genre: Silent Drama

Starring: Erich von Stroheim (Sunset Blvd.; The Grand Illusion), Miss DuPont

Directed By: Erich von Stroheim (The Wedding March; Greed)

Overview: A cunning Russian con plays a ploy to prey on the lonely rich wife of a US envoy in Morocco.

Performance:

Ugh. The cousins are fun to watch, but this this is so over-the-top melodramatic that the plot itself suffers. Imagine making someone act so tragic that they go that one step further and actually DO melodramatic deeds? The actors did nothing for me, at all.
Rating: 4

Cinematography:

The DVD version was grainy and dark. They should have done a little to improve the contrast filters on it at least. Digitally remastered might have been a better suggestion. Besides that, the look was uninspired. I have no idea why this is a classic. It's obviously not the camerawork, because it's bad, except for maybe the fire at the end.
Rating: 3

Script:

The more I write this review the more I hate this movie. The script is fine. Not very memorable, not that good, but not that bad. Outdated and mildly interesting. The whole ploy is just making a friend then asking her for money?! Wow, what a con. Stupid.
Rating: 6

Plot:

This story was originally 6 hours long. Good job on the editing because there's no way I would have sat through this bad a story for that long a time. With bad elements of Dr. Mabuse, this fares much better, but ultimately there was a lot of disjointed stuff, especially at the end because the story was edited as best it could, I guess, yet still failed. Also, too many characters, and why did tragedy befall all the time? Just random bad luck? Whatever.
Rating: 4

Mood:

Some silent films look and feel like stereotypically bad 'silent film'. Dusty, outmoded stories than seem to really have no relevance, bearing or assume a level of intellect beneath that of our generation. If that's what they were going for, then they get top score. Sadly, I don't think they were going for dirty, grainy chopped-up garbage. The costumes and the lipstick... that's all that gets points.
Rating: 3

She's so sure he's not going to marry her that she burns down his house and kills herself... Twit.
She's so sure he's not going to marry her that she burns down his house and kills herself... Twit.

Overall Rating: 40% (You'd Be A Fool To Waste Your Time On This)
Aftertaste:

The 31st film seen on my list of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Oh yeah. I'm still committed to this quick and easy guide to repertoire. At least I can say I studied this one along with the rest. Some are chores to endure and the rest are great cinema, but you know 1922 is just too much of a generation gap. This guy's just a knob.

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This was a rough film to watch, I agree. I couldn't watch the whole thing at regular speed, the last hour I went double time, which was a HUGE relief. I'm sure the story was more salacious and riveting 88 years ago, but its dry as a bone today. What was with the maid that wanted to be the guys wife? If she'd known him for 20 years, you'd think she would have figured out by now he's a major douche. I think you were too nice on the script: the ending is alright, but most of the rest of it is poor-quality fluff. Yuck.

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