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' ... See full summary »
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>
Short but effective documentary takes a look at the career of Erich von Stroheim who early on was labeled the man who love to hate. The film follows von Stroheim's earliest days as an extra on THE BIRTH OF A NATION to appearing in Griffith's HEARTS OF THE WORLD. We then follow his directorial career, which would often deliver films that haven't been seen in their original form as the director would usually deliver items that were much too long or too controversial to release on their own. We hear how FOOLISH WIVES, GREED, THE WEDDING MARCH and QUEEN KELLY were all taken from him. We learn about his BLIND HUSBANDS remake was canceled before it could even start filming. When von Stroheim's directorial career came to an end he turned to low budget studios for acting jobs before heading to France where he'd become a star again. I think the moral of this documentary is that you could look at von Stroheim as some sort of tragic figure but everything bad about his career was brought on by himself and his actions. It's rather amazing to see how someone could be in such demand only to eventually be thrown out of every major studio. It's amazing to see him get "one more chance" and need to prove himself only to burn the studio giving him the second chance. There's no question that von Stroheim was an interesting figure and for the most part this documentary delivers the goods. At just 78-minutes we don't get a lot of details but we at least get to hear from those who worked with him and we even hear from his ex-wife and the woman who was with him at the end of his life. We also get to hear from a couple people who saw some of his complete films before they were taken away by the studio. I'm sure a more detailed documentary could be made today but considering when this thing was made it's quite excellent and gives you a terrific look at this troubled man.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?