In front of the camera Erich von Stroheim was known to the public as “The Man You Love to Hate.” Behind it he might have been known as “The Man the Studios Love to Hate” because of his haughty attitude and disregard for the Tinsel Town power structure.
In a Hollywood career that spanned forty years the Austrian born director and actor saw his stock rise and fall many times. He first made a name for himself during WWI playing cruel aristocratic German villains—in one film he actually throws a crying baby out a window!— the stereotype which earned him the title “The Man You Love to Hate.”
In the silent era he was also a much sought after director until his arrogance—he made a nine-hour movie called Greed—budgetary follies—he was the first director to spend over one million dollars on a film—and attention to detail—his scripts were often as long as the novels he was adapting—made him unemployable by the big studios. Unable to find important work behind the camera he was forced to concentrate on performing.
Despite his hatred for acting—he couldn’t remember his lines and didn’t like taking orders—he was a striking screen presence. His well-crafted pompous screen persona was put to good use in Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion and Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, but it is a little seen 1935 film that captures von Stroheim at his ominous best… TO READ THE WHOLE THING CLICK HERE!