Film 336 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1922’s “Foolish Wives”. Directed, written and staring Erich von Stroheim and billed by Universal Studios as the first million dollar film, this silent drama is about a man who names himself Count Wladislaw Sergius Karamzin (von Stroheim) in order to seduce rich women and extort money from them. So… Does that mean that Wladislaw Sergius Karamzin is secretly a pimp? No. He dresses up like a army general and wonders around Monaco and tries to lure women away from other men. That’s it! I just saved you 2 and a half hours. This film loved to repeat the same scene scenario but in different locations. For example, a woman drops a book while on a sun bed in a cafe (???) and Sergius goes and picks it up. Then, minutes later, the same woman drops her purse in an elevator and someone else picks it up. Was this film trying to tell the audience that this woman can’t hold onto things (ie numb hands)? Also, Sergius doesn’t actually do anything noteworthy. He just wanders around smirking trying to look interested. Overall, this film was really boring and not worth wasting your time watching. I managed 43 minutes but I did speed up the film. Sad Fact of the Film – The actor who played The Prince of Monaco died halfway through production and was replaced by a lookalike. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1922’s “Foolish Wives”.
Film – Foolish Wives
Year – 1922
Director – Erich von Stroheim
Written by – Erich von Stroheim
Staring – Erich von Stroheim, Rudolph Christians, Miss DuPont, Maude George
IMDb Rating – 7.3/10
My Rating – BORING
Length – 140 min (2h 20min)
Genre – Drama
We open with a woman getting dress so she can flip a coin on a balcony
Did she just twist that maid’s nipple?
How low is that dress? She has no cleavage! And no boobs!
Cut to a man fishing with a pistol
You’re using a sleeping bag for a foot rest at the dinner table?
Nothing says breakfast like drinking the blood from an ox along with a dish of caviar
Two people arrive looking rough and dishevelled to deliver a letter
Why is the poor woman cradling a doll? Where did she even get it because she didn’t enter the house with it?
No one can really start their day without a shot of vodka
How long are those cigarettes?
Cut to American sailors on a ship
So… Sergius’s new business plan is to hire a bunch of poor women and sell them for money
How crunched up was that text box?
So… We’re in Monaco? Ok then
What’s with the screen changing colours – One minute it’s yellow then green then pinky red
I have no idea what’s happening
So… The Americans have arrived and we only know this because someone’s just risen an American flag
Sergius then begins to staring at a woman’s legs like a pervert
28 minutes in and I still have no idea what’s happening
Cut to The Prince of Monaco…. That’s it
Back to Sergius who gets mad at a guard for not picking up a book the woman accidentally dropped
She’s reading “Foolish Wives” and we get a close up of one of the pages – What are the odds that was just a chunk of the script that they filmed
Time to meet more women
Don’t you hate it when you get cockblocked by The Prince of Monaco?
Now for a show where we roll balls at pigeons and let Sergius shoot them in front of a paying audience
This blue screen tint to represent night makes it hard to see anything
So… Is it a rule that if a woman drops something the closest man to her has to pick it up?
Back to the blue tint and I can’t see anything
That monocle does not suit Sergius
And now for a boat ride
AND FOR ME TO SAIL AWAY… GOODBYE