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Encyclopedia > Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim

Born September 22, 1885(1885-09-22)
Flag of Austria Austria
Died May 12, 1957 (aged 71)

Erich von Stroheim (September 22, 1885May 12, 1957) was an Austrian - American star of the silent film age, lauded for his directional work in which he was a proto-auteur. As an actor, he is noted for his arrogant Teutonic character parts which led him to be described as "not a character actor, but what a character!". Playing villainous hun roles during the Great War, he became known as "The Man You Love to Hate". Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1885 (MDCCCLXXXV) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Austria. ... is the 132nd day of the year (133rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1957 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1885 (MDCCCLXXXV) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 132nd day of the year (133rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1957 Gregorian calendar). ... The term Germanic peoples may refer to: the Germanic tribes that in the first millennium were seen as a barbarian threat by the Roman Empire and its successors; the Germanic Christianity that in the second millennium came to dominate much of Northern Europe, politically organized in the Holy Roman Empire... Many historians consider the Huns (meaning person in Mongolian language) the first Mongolian and Turkic people mentioned in European history. ...

Contents

Background

Stroheim's most recent biographers such as Richard Koszarski say that he was born in Vienna, Austria in 1885 as Erich Oswald Stroheim, the son of Benno Stroheim, a middle-class hat-maker, and Johanna Bondy, both of whom were practicing Jews.[1] For other uses, see Vienna (disambiguation). ...


Stroheim himself claimed to be Count Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria von Stroheim und Nordenwall, the son of Austrian nobility like the characters he played in his films, but both Billy Wilder and Stroheim's agent Paul Kohner claimed that he spoke with a decidedly lower-class Austrian accent. Jean Renoir writes in his memoirs: “Stroheim spoke hardly any German. He had to study his lines like a schoolboy learning a foreign language.” Later, while living in Europe, Stroheim claimed in published remarks to have "forgotten" his native tongue. Billy Wilder (June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-born, Jewish-American journalist, screenwriter, film director, and producer whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. ... Paul Kohner (born 29 May 1902 in Teplitz-Schoenau (Teplice), died 16 March 1988 in Los Angeles, California). ... Jean Renoir Jean Renoir (September 15, 1894 – February 12, 1979), born in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France was a film director. ...


Stroheim was a great fantasist and his authorized biography contains many factual errors.


Film career

By 1914 he was working in Hollywood. He began working in movies in bit-parts and as a consultant on German culture and fashion. His first film, in 1915, was The Country Boy in which he was uncredited. His first credited role came in Old Heidelberg. The Country Boy: A Play in Three Acts is a play by Irish playwright, John Murphy (1929-1998). ...


He began working with D. W. Griffith, taking uncredited roles in Intolerance. Later, he played the sneering German in such films as Sylvia of the Secret Service and The Hun Within. In The Heart of Humanity, he tore the buttons from a nurse's uniform with his teeth, and when disturbed by a crying baby, threw it out a window. David Llewelyn Wark D.W. Griffith (January 22, 1875 – July 23, 1948) was an American film director. ... Intolerance is a silent film directed by D.W. Griffith in 1916. ...


Following the end of the First World War, Stroheim turned to writing and then directed his own script for Blind Husbands in 1919. He also stared in the film. As a director, Stroheim was known to be dictatorial and demanding, often antagonizing his actors. He is considered one of the greatest directors of the silent era, representing on film his by turns cynical and romantic views of human nature. Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ...


His next directorial efforts were the lost film The Devil's Passkey (1919) and Foolish Wives (1922), in which he also starred. The studio publicity for the Foolish Wives claimed that it was the first film to cost one million dollars.


In 1923, Stroheim began work on his next film Merry-Go-Round. He cast the American actor Norman Kerry in a part written for himself 'Count Franz Maximilian Von Hohenegg' and newcomer Mary Philbin in the lead actress role. However studio executive Irving Thalberg fired Von Stroheim during filming and replaced him with director Rupert Julian. Merry-Go-Round is a 1923 movie by Erich von Stroheim, starring Norman Kerry and Mary Philbin. ... Norman Kerry Norman Kerry (June 16, 1894 - January 12, 1956) was an American actor whose career spanned over twenty-five years in the motion picture industry beginning in the silent era at the end of World War I. Born Arnold Kaiser in Rochester, New York of German parentage, he changed... Mary Philbin (July 16, 1903 - May 27, 1993) was a notable film actress of the silent film era. ... Irving Grant Thalberg (May 30, 1899 - September 14, 1936) was an American film producer during the early years of motion pictures. ... Rupert Julian (January 25, 1889 - December 27, 1943) was a cinema actor, director, writer and producer. ...

Erich von Stroheim as Sergius Karamzin in Foolish Wives
Erich von Stroheim as Sergius Karamzin in Foolish Wives

Probably Stroheim's most famous work as a director is Greed, a detailed filming of the novel McTeague by Frank Norris. Stroheim filmed and originally edited a nine-hour version of the story, shot mostly at the locations described in the book in San Francisco and Death Valley. After his attempts to cut it to less than three hours were rejected by the studio, MGM cut the film to a little over two hours, and, in what is considered one of the greatest losses in cinema history, destroyed the excess footage. The shortened release version was a box-office failure, and was angrily disowned by Stroheim. The film was partially reconstructed in 1999, using the existing footage mixed with surviving still photographs, but Greed has passed into cinema lore as a lost masterpiece. Image File history File links Karamzinandwomen. ... Image File history File links Karamzinandwomen. ... Greed is a 1924 dramatic silent movie starring Gibson Gowland, ZaSu Pitts, Jean Hersholt and Chester Conklin. ... McTeague is a novel by Frank Norris. ... Benjamin Franklin Norris (5 March 1870, Chicago – 25 October 1902) was an American novelist during the Progressive Era, writing predominantly in the naturalist genre. ...


Stroheim's next films were the commercial project The Merry Widow (his most commercially successful film) and the more personal The Wedding March and the now-lost The Honeymoon.


Stroheim's unwillingness or inability to modify his artistic principles for the commercial cinema, his extreme attention to detail and the resulting costs of his films led to fights with the studios, and as time went on he received fewer directing opportunities.


In 1929 Stroheim was dismissed as the director of the film Queen Kelly after disagreements with star Gloria Swanson and producer and financier Joseph P. Kennedy over the mounting costs of the film and the introduction by Stroheim of indecent subject matter into the film's scenario. Queen Kelly is the title of an American silent film produced in 1929. ... Gloria Swanson (March 27, 1899 - April 4, 1983), was an Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe-winning American Hollywood actress. ... Joseph Joe Patrick Kennedy, Sr. ...


After Queen Kelly and Walking Down Broadway, a project from which Stroheim was also dismissed, Stroheim became principally an actor, working in both the United States and France. He is perhaps best known as an actor for his role as von Rauffenstein in Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion and as Max von Mayerling in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard. For the latter film, which co-starred Gloria Swanson, Stroheim was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The Mayerling character states that he used to be one of the three great directors of the silent era, along with D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille; many film critics agree that Stroheim was indeed one of the great early directors. Jean Renoir Jean Renoir (September 15, 1894 – February 12, 1979), born in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France was a film director. ... Grand Illusion (1937) poster for American release, depicting actors Jean Gabin (as Lt. ... Billy Wilder (June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-born, Jewish-American journalist, screenwriter, film director, and producer whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. ... It has been suggested that Norma Desmond be merged into this article or section. ... The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is one of the awards given to male actors working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... David Lewelyn Wark Griffith (January 22, 1875 - July 23, 1948) was an American film director (commonly known as D. W. Griffith) probably best known for his film The Birth of a Nation. ... Cecil Blount DeMille (August 12, 1881 – January 21, 1959) was one of the most successful filmmakers during the first half of the 20th century. ...


In the 1932 movie The Lost Squadron he parodied his image when he starred as a detail-obsessed German film director who tells soldier extras, that when they are "dead" they are to stay dead!


In 1935, Stroheim's only novel to be published in English Paprika was published by Macaulay. Paprika is the sensationalized story of the life and death of a gypsy femme fatale. Languages Romani, languages of native region Religions Christianity, Islam Related ethnic groups South Asians (Desi) The Roma (singular Rom; sometimes Rroma, Rrom) or Romanies are an ethnic group living in many communities all over the world. ... Convicted spy Mata Hari made her name synonymous with femme fatale during WWI. A femme fatale (plural: femmes fatales) is an alluring and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. ...


In 1939 Stroheim was working on a project in which he was to direct a film in France called "La Dame Blanche" which was to star Louis Jouvet and Jean-Louis Barrault. The production of the film, however, was interrupted by the war and the film was never made. Louis Jouvet (December 24, 1887 - August 16, 1951) was a renowned French actor and producer. ... Jean-Louis Barrault (September 9, 1910 - January 22, 1994) was a French actor, director and mime artist. ...


Stroheim was married several times, the last time shortly before his death, to actress Denise Vernac, who had been his longtime secretary and companion, and who starred with him in several films. Denise Vernac (June 3, 1916 - October 31, 1984) was a film actress and also film maker Erich von Stroheims secretary and constant companion after they met. ...


Von Stroheim spent the last part of his life in France where his silent film work was much admired by artists in the French film industry. In France he acted in films, wrote several novels that were published in French, and worked on various unrealized film projects. He was awarded the French Légion d'honneur shortly before his death in 1957 in Maurepas, France at the age of 71. Chiang Kai-sheks Légion dhonneur. ...


Filmography (as Director)

  • Blind Husbands (1919)
  • The Devil's Passkey (1920)
  • Foolish Wives (1922)
  • Merry-Go-Round (1923)
  • Greed (1924)
  • The Merry Widow (1925)
  • The Wedding March (1928)
  • The Honeymoon (1928)
  • Queen Kelly (1929)
  • Walking Down Broadway aka Hello, Sister (1933)

Greed is a 1924 dramatic silent movie starring Gibson Gowland, ZaSu Pitts, Jean Hersholt and Chester Conklin. ... The Merry Widow is a 1925 American MGM romantic drama film and black comedy directed and written by Erich von Stroheim. ... The Wedding March is a 1928 film. ... Queen Kelly is the title of an American silent film produced in 1929. ...

Novels

  • Paprika, The Macaulay Company (New York, 1935) and Thornton Butterworth, Limited (London, 1935)
  • Les Feux de la Saint-Jean, I ("Veronica"), Andre Martel, ed. (Paris, 1951), "Traduit de l'americain par Renee Nitzschke"
  • Les Feux de la Saint-Jean, II ("Constanzia"), Andre Martel, ed. (Paris, 1954), "Traduit de l'americain par Renee Nitzschke"
  • Poto Poto, Editions de la Fontaine (Paris, 1956), "Traduit de l'americain par Renee Nitzschke," preface by Blaise Cendrars

Original Screenplays

  • Blind Husbands (1918) (Universal)
  • The Devil's Passkey (1919) (Universal)
  • Foolish Wives (1920) (Universal)
  • Merry-Go-Round (1921) (Universal)
  • The Wedding March (1926) (Paramount)
  • Queen Kelly (1927) (Gloria Productions)
  • Poto Poto (1927) (unpublished)
  • Tempest (1928) (United Artists)
  • East of the Setting Sun (1928) (unpublished)
  • Walking Down Broadway (1932) (20th Century Fox)
  • I'll be Waiting For You (1951) (unpublished)

Quotes

"Lubitsch shows you first the king on the throne, then as he is in the bedroom. I show you the king in the bedroom so you'll you know just what he is when you see him on his throne."[2]



"If you live in France, for instance, and you have written one good book, or painted one good picture, or directed one outstanding film fifty years ago and nothing else since, you are still recognized and honored accordingly. People take their hats off to you and call you "maitre". They do not forget. In Hollywood --in Hollywood, you're as good as your last picture. If you didn't have one in production within the last three months, you're forgotten, no matter what you have achieved ere this."[3]


Notes

  1. ^ Koszarski, Richard. Von: The Life and Films of Erich von Sroheim. New York: Limelight Editions, 2001. pg. 4
  2. ^ Stroheim quoted in Georges Sadoul, Dictionary of Films, ed. and trans. Peter Morris (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972) 217.
  3. ^ Eulogy for D.W. Griffith, reprinted in The Man You Loved To Hate, by Richard Koszarski, page 282.

External links

  • [1] All about Erich
  • [2] The Stroheim Wing
  • [3] Blind Husbands
  • [4]Foolish Wives
  • [5] Merry-Go-Round
  • [6] Greed
  • [7] The Merry Widow
  • [8]The Wedding March
  • [9] Queen Kelly
  • [10] The Great Gabbo (Portrait of Erich)
  • [11] Grand Illusion
  • [12] Sunset Boulevard
  • [13] Find-A-Grave profile for Erich von Stroheim
  • [14] The Films of Erich von Stroheim, ToxicUniverse.com article by Dan Callahan
  • [15] Blind Biographers: The Invention of Erich von Stroheim
  • [16] Stroheim's Review of Citizen Kane, June 1941

  Results from FactBites:
 
Erich von Stroheim - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (908 words)
Von Stroheim himself claimed to be Count Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria von Stroheim und Nordenwall, the son of Austrian nobility like the characters he played in his films.
As a director, Von Stroheim was known to be dictatorial and demanding, often antagonizing his actors; he was one of the first filmmakers to fulfill the stereotype of the Teutonic tyrant, often wearing a monocle and carrying a riding crop while directing.
Von Stroheim was married four times, the last to actress Denise Vernac, who had been his longtime secretary and companion for years before their marriage in 1957, shortly before his death.
Eric von Stroheim (1601 words)
Von Stroheim traveled to Lake Tahoe where he worked for a time as a mountain guide, capturing the eye and eventually the financial support of Emma Bissinger, the wife of a wealthy San Francisco merchant.
Von Stroheim was impressed by Griffith's attention to detail, his insistence on character development, and his sense of realism--all things that would eventually make von Stroheim legendary in his own quest for a place in filmmaking history.
Von Stroheim got his first big break in 1915 when he came to the attention of Broadway director John Emerson, whose wife, Anita Loos, was a long-time scenarist for Griffith.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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