Silent Feature: Fool’s Paradise


Studio: A Famous Players-Lasky Production
A Paramount Picture
Premiered: December 9, 1921

Featured Cast: Conrad Nagel, Mildred Harris

Producer-director: Cecil B. DeMille
Screenwriters: Beulah Marie Dix, Sada Cowan
Source: the Leonard Merrick story The Laurels and the Lady
Cinematographers: Alvin Wyckoff, Karl Struss
Editor: Anne Bauchens


After a jealous dancer accidentally blinds a man, she tricks him into marrying her.


“Cecil B. DeMille, ever keen to bewilder the eye with dazzling scenes, will either put over a Barnum and Bailey show or pull down the tent and rent out the land for pasture.”

– Laurence Reid, Motion Picture News, December 24, 1921

Letters From Regional Theater Owners

“An absolute knockout in every way. It has everything. We turned away people at advanced prices. The kind of ‘big picture’ people like.”

– H.P. Stewart, Dreka Theatre, DeLand, Florida, Exhibitors Herald, Vol. XIV, No. 13 (March 25, 1922)

Artist Comment

“I loved working with Cecil B. DeMille and with William de Mille. It was a special pleasure, in those years, for me to work with them. William’s approach was entirely psychological. Cecil was more of a showman, one of those truly great figures of show business. A lot of people claim that he was a phony, a show-off. He was not that; he was just a superb showman.”

– Conrad Nagel in The Real Tinsel by Bernard Rosenberg and Harry Silverstein


Fool’s Paradise cost $291,367.56 and grossed $906,937.79.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include the considerable profits realized from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)