BLIND HUSBANDS, as it stands, is superior to most of the year’s productions, and, more importantly, its outstanding pictorial quality indicates that Mr. Stroheim, unlike many directors, grasps the fact that the screen is the place for moving pictures and that whatever is to be done on it with artistic finish, must be done pictorially. So many directors use moving pictures chiefly to ornament and enliven their stories. They do not depend upon them in crises. Whenever dramatic moments come, or when plot is to be unfolded or carried forward, they turn to familiar, but ineffectual, words. But Mr. Stroheim, although he has not done all that he might in the elimination of text, has evidently relied principally upon pictures and in a number of his dominating scenes there are no words at all, only eloquent pictures, more eloquent than words could ever be.
The climax of the play comes when two men, an Austrian Lieutenant, a “love-pirates” and “lounge-lizard,” and an American surgeon, a man of worth-while ability, climb one of the peaks of the Dolomites together. The Austrian has boasted to women of the mountains he has climbed and he has influenced the surgeon’s neglected wife, but when he stands before the steep side of a real mountain he is adequate only as to his faultless Alpine costume. He does not choose to climb, but he must. The other man has forced him to it. As he goes up he weakens, while the other increases in strength, and when the two stand alone on the pinnacle one is the master and the other a contemptible thing. The story gives dramatic suspense to this scene, but the suspense is heightened, the scene is developed to its full power, by pictures, for which no words are needed and few are used. And so in smaller scenes, in their intelligibility of action and genuineness of setting, Mr. Stroheim has worked and succeeded with the camera.
The New York Times, December 8, 1919
We are showing this film as part of a double programme. The first film is HANDS