A Fool There Was (1922)

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With the Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle scandal and the William Desmond Taylor murder still fresh in people's minds, it's a wonder why the Fox studios decided to go ahead with the remake of this steamy melodrama which shot Theda Bara to stardom in 1915. But they revamped it (so to speak) and toned down the character of Gilda Fontaine (here played by Estelle Taylor) enough to avoid the ire of the censors. The miscast Taylor virtually turned Gilda into a flapper, and this alone took a lot of the power out of the story. Financier John Schuyler (Lewis Stone) must travel to Europe on business, leaving his beloved wife (Irene Rich) and daughter Muriel (Muriel Dana) at home. On board the ship he encounters the dangerous Gilda -- his associate, Avery Parmelee (Mahlon Hamilton) has already killed himself over her. Schuyler now falls under Gilda's spell, and when he returns to the U.S., he is unable to give her up. His wife forgives him and is willing to take him back, but then Gilda reappears and he knows that the only way to break free of her sensual charms is to kill her or himself. He decides on the former, but while attacking her he falls over a banister to his death. Judging from the sets, Fox spent a lot of money on this film -- and it bombed.

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Keywords

bachelorette, love-triangle, vamp