Erich von Stroheim was an director of silent movies, as well as an actor in both silents and talkies. Uncompromising and rigid, he battled the studio system for control over his pictures' ...
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Erich von Stroheim was an director of silent movies, as well as an actor in both silents and talkies. Uncompromising and rigid, he battled the studio system for control over his pictures' content, and his career had many ups and downs as a result. Through interviews, photos, and archival footage, The Man You Loved to Hate explores von Stroheim's career. The title refers to von Stroheim's frequent casting as a German villain in films of the early 1940s. Von Stroheim's last famous acting role was in Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd. Written by
Ken Miller <email@example.com>
Erich von Stroheim was one of the most unusual and enigmatic filmmakers and actors in history and it's surprising more films haven't been done about the man. However, it's fortunate that "The Man You Love to Hate" was made back in 1979, as it really does a great job of presenting the guy and his very sketchy life. What I mean by sketchy is that the guy came to America long ago and completely re-created himself...giving himself a new name that spoke of an aristocratic upbringing which was certainly NOT the truth. He also created an imagine of an Austrian military man, though there's no evidence that he ever served! Overall, he was quite a liar-- something not at all unusual in the history of Hollywood! However, what is unusual is how successful he became as well as how he sabotaged his career again and again by his excessive style of filmmaking.
This film was made over two decades after von Stroheim's death...but fortunately does have some audio commentary by the man himself. In addition, there are interviews with many film industry folk--people who now have died long ago. Together, they weave an interesting look of the man and his genius and serious characterological deficits. It also looks at his career post-directing which was also very, very interesting....and offere a few surprises. Always interesting and well worth seeing for any fan of the classic era of Hollywood. The only reason I didn't give this one a 10 is the poor way it handled the man's love life. They talk about one wife and how much he adored her...and never mention that he was married 4 times...and only alluded to the fact he left her for another woman.
By the way, this documentary is included along with von Stroheim's film "Foolish Wives" and is a DVD well worth having.
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