The setting of Erich von Stroheim's first film is the Alps, where an American surgeon and his wife are on holiday. The husband neglects his wife, who begins a flirtation with an Austrian lieutenant (von Stroheim). “Extravagant in his demands for realism, cynical in his view of mankind and unconventional in his disregard for Hollywood film-production methods, Stroheim created a number of films, which, consequently, were never released in the form he wanted. Like most of his pictures, this one uses a commonplace story - the love triangle - but, as always, Stroheim decorates it with such significant and often bizarre detail, displays such visual penetration, that the result is fantastic and memorable melodrama.”
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