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Stroheim, Erich

( Director)

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Biography Stroheim, Erich
Erich Stroheim (.... - 1957)

Create a masterpiece was not easy. Stroheim, this short puny stranger from Vienna, was a man of iron will. He was ready to fight with Hollywood bosses are not retreating one step. How many times producers blamed him for millions of estimates for the formulation of films! But he stood his ground: to hell with cardboard scenery, . in the picture must all be present, . whatever the cost! Then the owners kinokontsernov went to the scandal - Stroheim remove from office, and now dosnimali other directors,
. Such humiliation master repeated several times.

. At the beginning of last century in the old Vienna, the capital of waltz, the ancient city of family castles, cozy pastry, cheerful cabbies and poor musicians, not far from the town hall were hat shop and shop-salon Benno Stroheim
. Ah, . These bentwood hat! It was not just hats, . no, . it was the poetry, . music! Was rumored, . that 'to Stroheim' some of the fair sex looked not only to seek a new hat or gloves, . but for the sake of, . to flirt with the blond Erich, . helped his father in the shop,
. The youth could be taken as a true representative of the Nordic Aryan race, despite the fact that his father - from an old well-known Jewish family in Gliwice, and her mother - Johanna Bondy - grew up in the Jewish community of Prague.

. When Erich committed to military service, . and he first came to leave, . Neighbors just shrugged his shoulders: Where did these Jews Stroheim a son - in the right uniform, . high, . polished to a mirror shine boots, . white gloves, . dragoon's cap with a badge - a real Austrian officer, . the pride of the empire!,

. In fact, Erich was merely a private and served in the Quartermaster of, . but as for mien, . posture, . ability to wear his sword and salute - a real Prussian, . military bone, . Teuton! Such would only be near the adjutant legendary Bismarck!,

. But a few months, Erich ran away from the army, and some time hiding from the military police - desertion was severely punished at all times.

. Soon Erich Stroheim could be seen in the crowd of emigrants, mostly Jews from Poland, Lithuania and Bessarabia, to walk on the stone pier in New York Harbor
. What could make the former bookseller hats? Absolutely nothing. But the guy he was energetic, strong-willed - was taken for any work. America traveled the length and breadth. Washing dishes in a cheap diner, rode wild horses, was a lackey, deputy sheriff, he wrote little articles in the provincial newspaper, wrote and performed in vaudeville as an actor. In a word, he took for everything.

In the end, Eric has appeared in Hollywood, Mecca of the lovers of the great silent. First he - stuntman. But Erich acquainted with the great DW Griffith, who later named his only teacher. Griffith takes the sharper Austrians in their group as an administrator, while Erich was withdrawn in small roles.

In Hollywood, capable newcomer, who came from Europe, gained fame outstanding personality. In the eyes of others, this ostronosenky blond was not just an immigrant from Vienna, . a special, . in the past close to the Austrian imperial court, . descendant of an old aristocratic family with a fancy name Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria von Stroheim Nordenvald, . graduate Neyshtadskoy Military Academy, . comes from a family dragoon colonel and maid of honor at the court of Austrian Empress.,

. But what about the Jewish origin? Hat shop near Vienna's city hall? More than modest success in the Austrian army in the stock fodder oats and hay and shameful desertion? All this is left in a past life, . in America, Erich came up with a new biography.,

. I created it myself and actor name
. No one better 'Austrians' could not cope with the role of the officer: straight back, . stone face, . cold, . hard look, . typical haircut (he did not change it until the end of life), . when almost all clean-shaven skull, and only on the top left a little hair to make it clear strict parting.,

. But not only the role of the military checkered Erich
. He wore a tuxedo, as a born lord. And here his manners were impeccable. Position scoundrel, villain, villain, capable of any meanness, does not shrink from violence and murder, as if stuck to Stroheim. 'The man who hate the good' - so bitingly called him an actor mask a reporter.

And yet in the history of world cinema that the artist came primarily as an outstanding director. The chroniclers of American cinema, the most prominent historians and theorists have put the name Stroheim near Griffith and Chaplin.

. And then, early in his career, after several years of work and learning from the great DW Griffith, a young actor signed his first contract with film company 'Universal' in the setting of the film 'Blind husbands' in their scenario
. A fairly straightforward story of a vaudeville failed marriages, adultery, adultery a cheap. Interest at the time (however, at all times), winning, cash. But in contrast to the 'chocolate' Hollywood stories Stroheim presented to the viewer a serious drama, completely devoid of any sentimentality. Even more acute was his next picture 'stupid wife'. The film takes place in Monte Carlo during the First World War. Hero of the picture - Russia's former officer, Count Karamzin, a swindler and a libertine, who lives on the money rich mistresses. Wretch eventually raping a mentally sick girl. Her father kills the rapist and throws the corpse into the sewer.

After the premiere of the scandal broke out. The newspapers reported that a stranger from Austria has insulted Americans who suffered serious injury vaunted American morality and changed the country that sheltered him. Funny, is not it? America, whose films today for the immorality, violence and sexual promiscuity is not only defy the lazy reproach in all of these sins Erich Stroheim!

. How to react to this Stroheim? 'If I see the life around the ugly - he answered reporters - why it should show the light and happy? "

. When you see movies today Stroheim, . watching the exploits of wading sleek ofitserishki, . endlessly snapping heels, . picturesquely smokes cigarettes, . there is another idea, . which, . seems, . did not occur to journalists, . then smashed director, . - About the anti-war focus of the young director,
. Protagonist, . played himself Stroheim, . - Officer, . man, . brilliantly uniformed, . pride of the army! And in fact it is empty, . stuffed creature, . who besides His uniform with epaulettes and akselbantikami, . polished boots and swords on the thigh did not! This is not a man, . is - zilch!,

. For many years, film scholars point out how brilliantly checkered Stroheim role of officers
. Yes, it is. Moreover, the actor looks at his hero with a grin, and he has funny, and sometimes hated.

. What caused such hostility to the military, . to the officers of the former campaigner? Maybe, . is due to his sudden defection, . ever persuaded to leave Vienna, . my home, . elderly parents? What drama Behind this? Alas, . this is not know nobody,
. After all, the true name, and the very ordinary background, hat shop and Jewish parents became known only after his death.

. Many years later, forced to leave the inhospitable America, Stroheim at the invitation of his worship appeared in Jean Renoir's 'Grand Illusion', which went down later in the golden fund of world cinema
. In this film he played the role of the German ace pilot, shot down a French plane and inviting survivors of the French officers at dinner. Must see this episode, in which Stroheim - Major von Raufenshtal receives visitors in his headquarters! He enters, puffing on his cigarette unchanged, and the first duty of taking the bar with a pile of schnapps. He does not drink, and upsets, just squatting and throwing his head. So clever, so rakish can 'take to the breast' only combat pilot! From flimsy ofitserishki, whom he portrayed in his first silent films, no trace. Dense, well-nourished Prussian with a bull neck, scooped a 'box', with right-fitting an officer's uniform and polished to high gloss boots. But the facial expression appeared something completely new. With what dignity and even cheerfulness he takes his table of the French, which is fighting his army!

In the second part of the film former pilot, wounded, clad in a corset, was commandant of the POW camp. 'My spine broke in two places and held together with silver braces, - he said sadly to his captive friend, Frenchman. - Silver chin and silver patella - here all the wealth that brought me a war '.

So Stroheim makes the final point in its long-standing fight with the hated warlords.

In the picture B. Wilder's 'Five tombs on the way to Cairo' Stroheim played the role of German Field Marshal Rommel. Legendary military commander, received the Second World War nicknamed 'Desert Fox' for combat operations in North Africa, usually portrayed as a man with a severe dry, inexpressive face. And in the performance Stroheim before the audience is presented with an ugly fat bulldog face, in a ridiculous motorcycle glasses, waving a stack. Typical character of the gay Viennese operetta! So it seems that just about it sharknet foot and dashing discourage tap or sing obscene songs.

So farewell former Austrian soldier with his army distant past. While Stroheim was already under sixty. And fifteen years later, when he was no longer alive, the leading critics of the world gathered to determine the twelve best films of 'all time'. In this honorable dozen entered the film 'Greed', filmed in Hollywood in 1923, the best and one of the most scan -

Later in the director's list Stroheim.

Create a masterpiece was not easy. Stroheim, this short puny stranger from Vienna, was a man of iron will. He was ready to fight with Hollywood bosses are not retreating one step. How many times producers blamed him for millions of estimates for the formulation of films! But he stood his ground: to hell with cardboard scenery, . in the picture must all be present, . whatever the cost! Then the owners kinokontsernov went to the scandal - Stroheim remove from office, and now dosnimali other directors,
. Such humiliation master repeated several times.

'Greed' has become the longest in the history of film into the then silent movies. In the first version of the demonstration lasted about eight hours. Stroheim was forced to reduce the picture, forced to throw many excellent episodes and scenes, irretrievably lost. Eventually Stroheim was removed from the installation and assigned randomly to a man who mercilessly slashed 'Greed'. But even in the mutilated form of this film, as already mentioned, was subsequently recognized as a masterpiece.

. And in life, this talented self-taught filmmaker, composing scripts, the artist-designer of his paintings, brilliantly played in their leading roles, did not leave the hall for months, worked day and night
. As the newspapers, 'not getting out of old shoes and patched dress'. As a reward Stroheim receiving abusive dismissal, notoriety of the wasteful, whimsical and capricious producer. Still, studio moguls again concluded a contract with him, because it was 'cash' director, whose name is on posters ensured the success of the film.

. Requiem of the actor, the culmination of his cinematic odyssey became involved in the famous Billy Wilder film 'Sunset Boulevard'
. Shtrogepym played himself - once famed Hollywood director, lived out their days lackey to aging movie star. This is not glib officer, arrogant and foolish, which played the young Erich, this unworldly old man. But again, all the same dazzling white gloves, the same wonderful, as they now say, 'branded' posture, a jacket and a silk bow tie.

... Stroheim died in 1957 at his country house near Paris. Shortly before that France awarded him the highest award, which he had long dreamed of. On the white pillow behind the coffin carrying the Legion of Honor. 'His funeral - remember Jean Renoir - is consistent with this extravagant man. Ahead of the funeral procession, consisting of French cinema celebrities, went gypsy musicians from the night cabaret. They played a Viennese waltz ... '

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