Hollywood (1980– )
4 user
Autocratic directors like the martinet Cecil B. DeMille and the idiosyncratic Eric Von Stroheim are highlighted in this episode.




Episode credited cast:
James Mason ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karl Brown Karl Brown ... Himself
Bebe Daniels ... Actress (archive footage)
Agnes de Mille ... Herself
Valerie Germonprez Valerie Germonprez ... Herself (as Mrs. Valerie von Stroheim)
A. Arnold Gillespie A. Arnold Gillespie ... Himself
Byron Haskin ... Himself
Henry Hathaway ... Himself
Paul Ivano Paul Ivano ... Himself
Leatrice Joy ... Herself
Henry King ... Himself
Paul Kohner Paul Kohner ... Himself
Anita Loos ... Herself
Albert S. Rogell Albert S. Rogell ... Himself (as Al Rogell)
Adela Rogers St. Johns ... Herself


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 duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

19 February 1980 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thames Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


James Mason: If one producer ever symbolized Hollywood, it was Cecil B. DeMille.
See more »


Features 1925 Studio Tour (1925) See more »


The Moldau
Composed by Bedrich Smetana (1874)
Used as soundtrack heme
See more »

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User Reviews

Who's The Boss Around Here?
7 June 2016 | by rmax304823See 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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