A maverick auteur of the silent cinema, Erich von Stroheim was notorious for burning through studio money in maniacal pursuit of celluloid perfection. And when his extravagance was too much (which was often), most of his films were taken away and whittled down. Yet even in its abridged form, his work retains a gutsy modernity. ”Blind Husbands,” about a romantic triangle, has charged moments of erotic longing. ”Foolish Wives” is novelistically rich. In ”Queen Kelly,” Gloria Swanson goes from convent innocent to brothel bride in what was intended as another lengthy masterwork. Unfortunately, Swanson, also the producer, fired von Stroheim and aborted the production when she became uneasy with the film’s costliness and gleeful depravity. That he was reunited with Swanson as Max, Norma Desmond’s former director, in ”Sunset Boulevard” was irony at its most delicious. ”Husbands”: B; ”Wives”: B+; ”Kelly”: A-
Posted January 17 2015 — 4:48 AM EST
- 'The Messengers' premiere: Heaven or hell?
- Casting Net: Ben Stiller confirms Penelope Cruz will be in 'Zoolander 2'
- 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' gets Veteran's Day 2016 release
- Five Broadway tickets to snag before Tony nominations make it impossible
- 'Star Wars': 5 revelations from Carrie Fisher at Celebration Q&A
- 'Batman v Superman' trailer is here; official release by Zack Snyder follows leak
- Never-before-seen passage from Madeleine L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle in Time' found
- 'Orphan Black': So, you wanna date a clone?
- 'Star Wars': 15 behind-the-scenes 'Force Awakens' pics
- Dirty words on TV? 17 faves whose spew is par for the coarse
- TV Style: 3 costume pros on their '70s-'80s-'90s inspirations
- Madonna's Cone Bra turns 25: How this Gaultier lingerie's legacy lingers
- Olivia Wilde, Brad Paisley, Brandy Norwood & More!