Feature Drama | 1920 | Silent | B/W
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The gambling table of the villa. Sergius at the metal gates of the villa as a car pulls up with Mrs Hughes. Mrs Hughes steps out of the car as Sergius moves up to pay the driver. The car pulls away in the nightime gloom. They walk back towards the villa as the car pulls away. Sergius and Mrs Hughes enter the villa.
"I've had a most delightful evening Princess and now I must be going - "
As Mr Hughes rises from the gambling table.
"Oh must you - so early"
"I'm afraid I must, your highness - you know my wife wasn't feeling well and I don't want to leave her alone - "
More of the party at the villa, guests in evening wear. A car pulls away from the villa. Mrs Hughes and the count arrive in his rooms with a crucifix at the top of the stairs. The maid is lighting candles.
"You will see that no one disturbs me - be so good - "
The maid curtseys and leaves. She stops at the other side of the door and listens as they talk.
"That it should come to this"
" - to be compelled to ask the help of a woman."
The maid sits on the bed in her uniform.
"If it were only my life at stake I would not mind - "
"But the honour of my name - "
"My father's name - "
"Is there anything I can do? Please tell me - I'll gladly help you - because I know how brave and sincere you are - "
"No I can't tell you."
Shot of maid lying on her bed stead looking distressed. She chews on her nails.
"By tomorrow morning I must have ninety thousand francs - a debt of honour that must be paid either with money or with blood - "
"But I have given all to my country - and now that I need - I have not"
"I place my life in your hands - "
The maid inserts the key and locks the door. Mrs Hughes opens her handbag and removes the notes whilst Sergius looks away in the background.
"I'm so proud that you consider me worthy of your confidence Count Karamzin."
The maid takes the key and throws it into a cupboard. The count and Mrs Hughes walk out onto a balcony with a wrought iron railing. The maid removes the cover on a bird cage. She removes a bird from the cage, opens a curtained window and releases the bird.
Mr Hughes arrives in his hotel bedroom. Mrs Hughes' bedroom is empty and a curtain billows at the window. The maid screams as flames start to rise. The flames start to engulf the appartment, the cross being silhouetted with the flames behind it. The villa's casino is full, people playing roulette. Flames appear on the balcony. Sergius and Mrs Hughes rush to the door and find it locked. They both hammer against it. Mrs Hughes stands on the balcony screaming as the count tries to stem the flames at the door. They are both on the balcony as the appartment burns in the background. Exterior of villa as people rush put. People rush into the square. The exterior of the villa at night with flames starting to appear. People rushing from the burning building. A fireman sets off an alarm at the building, close shot of alarm system. This rings telephone alarm system at the fire station. Fire engine parked at the station. Firemen appear down a fire pole. Sergius and Mrs Hughes on the balcony. Firemen board the fire engine. Cars pass and the fire engine exits. Second fire engine with ladders comes out and a third horse drawn engine comes out. Close up of firemen turning the the siren.
Night time exterior of the casino (?) fire engines come through the square. Crowds moving through the square. Engines passing large crowds. Fireman stoking engine, hoofs of horses and carriage wheels as they fly along the ground. Fire brigade and police (?) arrive at the villa.
Flames at the appartments. Crowds milling in square beneath the balcony. Firemen in uniform arrive at the balcony. Firemen produce large blanket for Mrs Hughes and Sergius to jump onto. Sergius jumps onto fire blanket and is caught by firemen. Mrs Hughes is trapped on the balcony with flames behind. Villa on fire. Tower flaming. Crowds below. Mrs Hughes climbs over the balcony. The tower is flaming and inside it is starting to collapse. Mrs Hughes lands in fire blanket (?). Crowds surround her and two firmen carry her off. Mr Hughes arrives in a car. Two firemen running with a ladder. Hose pipes on the ground. Sergius, Vera and Olga stand together.
"You were supposed to compromise her, but you didn't have to call out the fire department!"
Rear of fire engine. Smoke pouring from the chimney. Exterior of villa with crowds. Shot of a rocky promentory. The maid on the cliffs is weeping. Sea in the background.
A doctor in Mrs Hughes' bedroom listens to her as she lies on the bed.
"Nothing serious - a severe shock and some slight burns - "
The doctor talks on the telephone. Mr Hughes sits on the bed by his wife. He fins Sergius' note. A double exposure as Sergius' face appears behind the note.
The party goers return to the casino in the villa. Firemen bring hoses into the tower appartment. Firemen running upstairs with fir hoses. Fire engine driving away from the scene. Car pulls up with Mr Hughes in, who climbs out. The count pours a glass of champagne for a group of officers.
"It was rather an embarrassing situation - you see Mrs Hughes hadn't the courage to jump and as an officer and a gentleman I had to jump first to show her - "
Sergius is moving amongst the casino crowd with champagne bottle and a cigarette. The casino room at the villa is full of people as Mr Hughes arrives.
"Take off that monocle."
Soldiers watch as Mr Hughes confronts the count.
"Go to hell."
Mr Hughes hits Karamzin who falls to the floor. The count dabs his mouth with a handkerchief.
"As an officer and a gentleman I demand an apology."
"Officer and gentleman hell. You're not even a man!"
"And the quicker you and your two dear 'cousins' get out of Monte Carlo, the better!"
Olga moves over and speaks to the count and the ambassador. The soldiers talk to Karamzin. The guests start to leave the roulette room.
"Three hours after midnight - the villa Amorosa silent and in darknes - "
Olga starts to pack her clothes into her bags. The screen irises in.
Exterior street night time. Sergius paces up and down under the street lamps. Shot as before of Sergius looking at Ventucci's daughter laying on bed with light from the shuttered window streaming through. Screen irises in on street at night. Screen irises out on Sergius at the bottom of the steps outside Ventucci's house. The street is deserted. The count moves over to the manhole cover. A man in uniform rides up. Ventucci's daughter asleep on the bed. Sergius starts to climb the foiliage outside of Ventucci's house. He climbs up the side of house until he reaches a window. As he reaches into the open window he knocks a plant which smashes on the floor. This wakes Signor Ventucci. Sergius appears at the daughter's window. He puts his finger to his mouth to quiet her. The daughter puts her hand across her face. The count closes the shutters on the bedroom window. Screen irises in a slatted window. Olga and Vera dressed in fur hats and carrying suitcases descent a staircase. Three men in suits and a uniformed policeman arrive at the bottom of the stairs.
"Do you realise what you are doing? It will cost you your career - I am Princess Olga Petchnikoff".
As they attempt to leave the foyer a man stops them. He produces official papers with photographs of a dark-haired woman. As Olga turns to talk the man swiftly lifts the blonde wig to reveal Olga’s real dark hair. Olga then reaches over and pulls Vera ‘s wig from her head to reveal her dark hair beneath the wig. Ventucci drags the count’s prostrate body across the room. Exterior of Ventucci’s house at night. Ventucci drags Sergius’s body down the stone steps. In his night clothes he drags the manhole cover from the hole and drags it towards the manhole. Birds are startled from the roof of a house. Mr Hughes is reading to his wife who is lying in bed. The cover of the book shows the title "Foolish Wives" and the tasselled bookmark hangs from it. Close up on text from book. Foolish Wives - and thus it happened that disillusionment came finally to the foolish wife who found in her own husband the nobility she had sought for in a counterfeit.
It’s a Universal Picture. Did you like it? Write me your opinion. Carl Iaemmle, Pres.
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