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 June 20 2003 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Amy Schumer, Bill Hader helped Pete Davidson land 'Saturday Night Live'
- 'San Andreas': What did the critics say?
- Bill Cosby loses appeal to dismiss sexual assault lawsuit
- Two lost albums from The Doors coming back this fall
- Watch Ed Sheeran's GMA performance right now
- Ryan Reynolds thanks fans for support as 'Deadpool' production wraps
- Soul-sucking dementor wasps, the Harry Potter illustrated edition, and more J.K. Rowling news
- Summer Music Preview 2015: 12 best festivals
- Summer Music Preview 2015: 12 biggest albums
- TV Season Finale Awards: YOUR 2015 winners are...
- Chris Pratt makes a splash: EW Summer Must List photos
- Bill Paxton reminisces about 15 key roles
- Cruel Intentions Reunion, Kim Kardashian, Soleil & Demi and More!