AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Foolish Wives
Director: Erich von Stroheim (Dir)
Release Date:   8 May 1922
Premiere Information:   New York premiere: 11 Jan 1922
Duration (in feet):   14,120
Duration (in reels):   14
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Cast:   Rudolph Christians (Andrew J. Hughes)  
    Miss Du Pont (Helen, his wife)  
    Maude George (Princess Olga Petschnikoff)  
    Mae Busch (Princess Vera Petschnikoff)  
    Erich von Stroheim (Count Sergius Karamzin [Captain, 3d Hussars, Imperial Russian Army])  
    Dale Fuller (Maruschka, a maid)  
    Al Edmundsen (Pavel Pavlich, a butler)  
    Cesare Gravina (Caesare Ventucci, a counterfeiter)  
    Malvine Polo (Marietta, his daughter)  
    Louis K. Webb (Dr. Judd)  
    Mrs. Kent (His wife)  
    C. J. Allen (Albert I, Prince of Monaco)  
    Edward Reinach (Secretary of State of Monaco)  

Summary: Count Sergius Karamzin, an adventurer, and his two cousins, Olga and Vera, lease a villa at Monte Carlo and cultivate the friendship of American envoy Andrew J. Hughes and his wife, Helen, who is flattered by the flirtations of the count. While strolling in the country, the count and Helen take refuge from a storm in a hut, and though they are obliged to remain overnight the arrival of an old monk keeps the count from revealing his intentions. At the casino the diplomat's wife wins, and when the party retires to the count's villa for poker, Mrs. Hughes, in response to a secret note from the count, meets him in the tower, where he wheedles her out of her money and begins to seduce her. Meanwhile, Hughes, having discovered the cousins cheating at the casino, returns to the hotel. The count's maid, a victim of his lechery, becomes desperately jealous, sets fire to the villa, and leaps into the sea. The count and Mrs. Hughes are saved by jumping into a life net, and Hughes, becoming aware of the count's intrigue, attacks him and arranges a duel for the following morning. Infuriated by his folly, the "Princesses" drive the count from the villa; at the house of Ventucci, for whom he has been passing counterfeit money, the count attacks Ventucci's halfwitted daughter; later, Ventucci kills him and drops his body in a sewer. Returning from the dueling place, Hughes finds that his wife has given premature birth to a child, and they are reconciled. 

Production Company: Universal Film Manufacturing Co.  
Production Text: Universal Super-Jewel
Director: Erich von Stroheim (Dir)
  Edward Sowders (Asst dir)
  Jack R. Proctor (Asst dir)
Producer: Carl Laemmle (Pres)
Writer: Erich von Stroheim (Scen)
  Erich von Stroheim (Story)
  Marian Ainslee (Titles)
  Erich von Stroheim (Titles)
Photography: Ben Reynolds (Dir of photog)
  William Daniels (Dir of photog)
  Harry J. Brown (Chief eng illumination & lighting eff)
Art Direction: E. E. Sheeley (Art dir)
  Richard Day (Art dir)
  William Meyers (Tech dir)
  James Sullivan (Tech dir)
  George Williams (Tech dir)
  Van Alstein (Scenic artist)
  Don Jarviss (Sculpture)
Costumes: Western Costume Company (Ward)
Music: Sigmund Romberg (Mus score)
Production Misc: C. J. Rogers (Props)
Country: United States
Language: English

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Universal Film Manufacturing Co. 11/2/1922 dd/mm/yyyy LP17550

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Si:

 
Genre: Melodrama
Sub-Genre: Society
 
Subjects (Major): Albert I, Prince of Monoco, 1848-1922
  Diplomats
  Duels
  Fires
  Gambling
  Lechery
  Monte Carlo (Monaco)
  Murder
  Suicide

Note: Some sources list the release length at 10 reels. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   15 Jan 1922   p. 3.
New York Times   12 Jan 1922   p. 15.
Photoplay   Mar 1922   p. 70.
Variety   20 Jan 1922   p. 35.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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