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(Review originally written at 28 March 2007)

Normally I enjoy watching old movies from the '20's, even the more slower paced one's but this movie just didn't do it for me, although it also is of course far from the worst I have ever seen.
The movie has a good enough story but it isn't exactly the most intriguing or tense stories to follow. Lots of sequences don't seem to have a relevant enough importance. It might have to do with the fact that the original length of the movie was over 6 hours long, which might had shown some of the relevance of certain sequences and characters but there is really no way I'm ever going to watch this longer version. The movie was already overlong as it was. The movie didn't had very much interesting drama in it and although the main character seemed intriguing, it just didn't worked out powerful enough in the movie.


The movie also isn't as technically advanced as some of the other movies from the same time period, clearly directed by more talented and more experimental directors such as F.W. Murnau, Fritz Lang, Victor Sjöström and D.W. Griffith, among others.


But this all of course doesn't mean that the movie is a bad one to watch. The story of a fake Russian aristocratic lady-killer in Monte Carlo trying to get money from rich ladies as on its own quite a good story and in a way for movie standards also ahead of its time. Many more movies like this one, in many different forms were made and are still being made, many years later now. In this particular case this is a movie I wouldn't mind seeing remade, perhaps also with some more humor in it and a more clear message. The movie also uses some quite good camera positions, on a positive note.


Also the acting is good enough, though Miss DuPont seems heavily miscast as a pretty 21 year young girl. She is too old looking for her role and she also most certainly wasn't pretty enough to find the story very convincing. Same perhaps goes for Dale Fuller. Erich von Stroheim plays the real main part of the movie and he does this with lots of flair. He also wrote and directed the movie. Laurel & Hardy regular Mae Busch shows up in a serious role for a change and it was refreshing to see her like that for a change.


Certainly a watchable movie but really no essential viewing in my opinion.


6/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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