1922. USA. Erich von Stroheim. 106 min.
Friday, January 15, 2010, 1:30 p.m.
Theater 3 (The Celeste Bartos Theater), mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building
1922. USA. Written and directed by Erich von Stroheim. With von Stroheim, Maude George, Mae Busch, Cesare Gravina. Though von Stroheim’s third film was far ahead of its time in depicting the depravity of European nobility, the director was well behind the curve in anticipating how his excesses would damage his future career, and Foolish Wives marked his descent into martyrdom. As he challenged studios to accept his extravagance and overlong footage counts—a fight he lost in most cases—von Stroheim learned firsthand that movie directors did not have the freedom of an artist or writer working in a garret. This print, restored by Arthur Lennig, includes all but a couple of reels of the release print; an additional hour or more is believed to be irretrievably lost. 106 min.