Erich von Stroheim’s first solo effort as writer-director introduced audiences to Stroheim the leading man and to some of the filmmaker’s characteristic themes: old-world decadence versus American naivete; the extremes of passion; the irony of honor. Minor when compared with the masterful Foolish Wives, this 1919 silent feature is nevertheless essential viewing, signaling the arrival of an authentic genius in American cinema. 70 min.