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♪ LIVE PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT BY STEVE STERNER
(1919) American tourists arrive in the Austrian Dolomites for a mountain-climbing holiday, but there’s a snake in Eden – guess who? Von Stroheim’s first film was a surprise smash, arguably the most assured U.S. debut before Kane, evidenced by the analytic editing of close-ups during the opening coachride, the superb local color, the virtuous wife’s startling “consideration” of the lieutenant’s advances, and the mountain-climbing showdown – shot near Palm Springs.
"Essential viewing, signaling the arrival of an authentic genius in American cinema."
– Don Druker, Chicago Reader