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?


Agnes de Mille: Then he finally hit on the formula of extreme religious fervour and interest in God, with extreme sexuality. And t's of course almost irreplaceable as a combo.
See more »


Features Greed (1924) See more »


The Merry Widow Waltz
Composed by Franz Lehár (1905)
Played during clips from Von Stroheim's "The Merry Widow" film.
See more »

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User Reviews

11 October 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is yet another fantastic episode of the best series on silent films and Hollywood. Like the rest, it's incredibly easy to watch, filled with great interviews and film clips and is stuffed with great information and anecdotes. This particular one focuses on two early autocratic film directors, Erich von Stroheim and Cecil B. DeMille. Both, in my opinion, are highly overrated and both had very different outcomes in their careers. Von Stroheim basically destroyed his career because he was pathologically unable to work with any reasonable constraints. Many examples of his adversarial and excessive behaviors are given and I loved the interviewee who tried to give a psychological perspective on the man--it seemed dead on! As for DeMille, he was not a particularly nice guy (at least to most) and was incredibly dictatorial BUT he delivered successful films. While I would NOT agree he was a true genius (for every wonderful film he made, he made others that were just god-awful-- such as "Sign of the Cross"), he was successful and knew how to market himself. The similarities between them and differences are highlighted. Excellent throughout...

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