Autocratic directors like the martinet Cecil B. DeMille and the idiosyncratic Eric Von Stroheim are highlighted in this episode.


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Episode credited cast:
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karl Brown ...
Valerie Germonprez ...
Herself (as Mrs. Valerie von Stroheim)
A. Arnold Gillespie ...
Paul Ivano ...
Paul Kohner ...
Anita Loos ...
Albert S. Rogell ...
Himself (as Al Rogell)
Adela Rogers St. Johns ...


Autocratic directors like the martinet Cecil B. DeMille and the idiosyncratic Eric Von Stroheim are highlighted in this episode. DeMille's films were sex-filled and very popular while Von Stroheim's were needlessly costly and self indulgent. DeMille went on to great success in the sound era while Von Stroheim's directorial career was over by the end of the Twenties. Written by

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Release Date:

19 February 1980 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


James Mason: If one producer ever symbolized Hollywood, it was Cecil B. DeMille.
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References The Golden Bed (1925) See more »


The Moldau
Composed by Bedrich Smetana (1874)
Used as soundtrack heme
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User Reviews

Who's The Boss Around Here?
7 June 2016 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Entertaining and informative study of two silent film directors, Cecil B. De Mille and Eric von Stroheim.

Both were noted for their egos and their extravagant production. De Mille's gargantuan movies made money. He gave the public what they wanted -- spectacle and a display of sin, just so the audience could see how sinful nude bathing was. Cluck cluck. He survived into sound films through the 1950s where it will be evident that his directorial techniques hadn't changed a bit. The overacting in his silents were carried over into his sound movies.

Von Stroheim -- nobody seems to know where the "von" came from -- was of a different caliber, equally demanding and equally extravagant, and probably more talented, but without the practical common sense of Cecil B. De Mille. Von Stroheim's movies, most of them either shelved or flops, were extremely expensive -- and extremely long. If a scene called for champagne and caviar at a banquet, it had to be real champagne and real caviar -- even if the caviar was to be thrown by the actors at each other. The original prints aren't available any longer. It's too bad because a twelve-hour epic could now be nicely sliced into a miniseries on television.

There's not much on the personalities but plentiful excerpts from the films themselves. Talking heads include Byron Haskin, Gloria Swanson, and Henry King.

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