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Part of the seriesVON STROHEIM

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(1928) Broke Prince Nikki Von Wildeliebe-Rauffenberg decides to go for the kroner via marriage to ZaSu Pitts, lame daughter of Vienna’s Corn Plaster King, but en route finds tender romance with wine garden jungfrau Fay Wray, amid a torrent of apple blossoms. Once again, Stroheim’s immense plans were aborted (Part II, mostly shot, is no longer extant anywhere), but what’s left remains one of his greatest works: with the incredible orchestration of 200 close-ups during the opening Technicolor Corpus Christie procession; the blossomed idyll; and the wedding amid torrential rain among the all-time classic sequences. Print courtesy Library of Congress.



"A marvellously detailed portrait of the corruption of society in general, rich and poor. Nevertheless, it is the love scenes, played beneath shimmering apple blossoms in lyrical soft focus, that stick in the memory, ironically turning what is now the film's ending - the frustration of that love - into one of the director's most bitterly pessimistic scenes."
– Geoff Andrew, Time Out (London)