La Foire Aux Chimeres (1946)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Consigned to "B" pictures in Hollywood, Erich Von Stroheim fared rather better in France: his 1946 vehicle La Foire aux Chimeres (The Dream Fair) was one of the most expensive French productions of the year, and one that made back its cost many times over. Von Stroheim is appropriately cast as a disfigured engraver who takes revenge on the world by becoming a master forger. His motives aren't entirely selfish: in love with blind circus entertainer Madeline Sologne, he hopes to provide her with the necessary funds to pay for a sight-restoring operation. But Sologne is herself in love with Louis Salou, and thereby hangs a tragic tale. It's fascinating to watch Von Stroheim doing a Charlie Chaplin, albeit without the whimsy and pathos of "The Little Tramp."