DIRECTORS (Page 2 of 4)

Raoul Walsh

Signed Photo

Directed the great Fairbanks Sr. in
"The Thief of Baghdad" in 1920s & Errol Flynn in
"Gentleman Jim" w/ 30-40 epics between the two

Biography for
Raoul Walsh

5' 11 1/2"

Miriam Cooper (1916 - 1926) (divorced); 2 adopted sons

Final resting place: Assumption Catholic Cemetery, Simi Valley, California

Lost an eye on location for In Old Arizona in 1929.

One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Director, actor. (b. Mar. 11, 1887, New York City; d. Dec. 31, 1980.) Raoul Walsh was a storyteller who never let the truth get in the way of a good tale. After various odd jobs and adventures he found work in the theater as an actor, notably in a touring company of Thomas Dixon's "The Clansman." His first film work was with D. W. Griffith as an actor and assistant director. He codirected and starred in The Life of General Villa (1914), which in later years led the filmmaker to spin yarns about his association with the Mexican bandit/hero; in fact Walsh never left Los Angeles while the film was in production. He played John Wilkes Booth in Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915), and in the wake of its success he signed with the Fox Film Corporation. His early films there, as director, included The Regeneration (1915, a stunning drama of tenement life) and the Theda Bara version of Carmen (also 1915). He also steered the career of his then-wife, Griffith discovery Miriam Cooper. (Tragically, most of Walsh's early films no longer survive, denying modernday film historians the chance to assess his work in this period. Regeneration is so good-rivaling Griffith in many waysone can only imagine what his other work from the teens and early twenties might have been like.)

In 1924 Walsh piloted Douglas Fairbanks' The Thief of Bagdad the artistic and commercial success of which made him a major Hollywood director. But Walsh proved to be a director without a "vision," only as good as his materialand often unable to improve it. His biggest silent success was an adaptation of the stage hit What Price Glory? (1926). Walsh wore three hats on Sadie Thompson (1928), writing, directing, and costarring with Gloria Swanson; his exuberant performance caused Fox to sign him to direct and star in the first outdoor talkie, In Old Arizona (1929), but a freak auto accident cost him an eye and finished his acting career for good. (Warner Baxter replaced him on-screen and went on to win an Oscar for his performance.)

Walsh's notable talkies included The Cock-Eyed World (1929, the sequel to What Price Glory? the epic-scale Western The Big Trail (1930), Yellow Ticket (1931), Me and My Gal (1932), Wild Girl (also 1932, a Western made in the manner of a late 19th-century stage melodrama), and The Bowery (1933, a loving look at New York in the Gay Nineties). Klondike Annie (1936, with Mae West) also showed great feeling for fin de siècle saloon life, and The Strawberry Blonde (1941) and Gentleman Jim (1942) were similarly effective in portraying that bygone era. Other 1930s titles include Going Hollywood (1933), Every Night at Eight (1935), Artists & Models (1937), and College Swing (1938). Walsh hit his stride at Warner Bros. in the late 1930s and early 1940s, finding his true metier in that studio's rugged action pictures and crime dramas, including The Roaring Twenties (1939) They Drive by Night (1940), They Died With Their Boots On, Manpower and High Sierra (all 1941). On loan to Republic, he directed their large-scale Western drama Dark Command (1940), about Quantrill's Raiders.

Routine assignments in the 1940s were occasionally sparked by the likes of the much-maligned The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945), Pursued (1947), and the gangster psycho-drama White Heat (1949). (He also remade High Sierra in 1949, as Colorado Territory.) Walsh continued making films, mostly Westerns and actioners, into the mid 1960s, including Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), Blackbeard the Pirate (1952), The Tall Men (1955), The King and Four Queens (1956), and Marines, Let's Go (1961); his final film was the modest cavalry epic A Distant Trumpet (1964).

Walsh's 1974 autobiography, "Each Man in His Time," must be regarded as highly entertaining fiction with an occasional nod at the truth. His brother, George Walsh, was a popular star in the teens and 1920s, whose career went into decline when he was replaced by Ramon Novarro in the 1926 Ben-Hur sadly, nearly all of his films have been lost to the inevitable decomposition that ravages old celluloid.


Erich Von Stroheim
The man you love to hate

Click to enlarge
Contrary to a widely accepted myth, he was not born
Hans Erich Maria Stroheim Von Nordenwall, a scion of a noble Prussian military family, but Erich Oswald Stroheim, the son of a Jewish hatter from Gleiwitz in Prussian Silesia.

Born September 22nd 1885 - Died 1957 Paris


Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
Cover & Close up of Embossed Corporate Seal of "Universal Films"

Von Stroheim first contract with Universal Films dated August 26th, 1919.
Complete seven (7) pages bound in Original Cover. He Directed "Blind Husbands 1919, "Foolish Wife's" 1921, "Greed" 1923, "The Marry Widow" 1925, "Wedding March" 1927, during this contract life.

Click to enlarge
Page 7
Signed by Von Stroheim &
R.H. Cochian V.P. & General Manager of "Universal Films".

He Starred in many important productions as an Actor, "Five Graves To Cairo" , "The North Star", both 1943. "The Great Flammarion" 1945. His greatest acting triumph was as the Lover/Husband/Director/Butler to Gloria Swanson in Billy Wilder's Film Noir Classic, "Sunset Boulevard" 1950.

Note: Permanent rivets binding this contract.

Please click here to visit a page on Moviediva
for more about "The Wedding March".

Click to enlarge
Page 1 of 7
Note: Typed on "Onion Skin" paper

Historic Hollywood Document.
Perfect Donation/Tax Deduction for a Lucas, Spielberg, Coppola,
Michael Jackson, or a Madonna

Biography for
Erich von Stroheim

  The Man You Love to Hate
Valerie Germonprez (c. 1919 - ?)
'Mae Jones' (c. 1915 - ?) (divorced)
'Margaret Knox' (19 February 1913 - ?) (divorced)

Broke two ribs when he fell from the roof in "The Birth of a Nation."

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Director, actor, screenwriter. (b. Sept. 22, 1885, Vienna, as Erich Oswald Stroheim; d. May 12, 1957.) Bald-pated, monocled, Teutonic terror frequently billed as "the man you love to hate," the skillful delineator of stern, autocratic Prussian and Nazi officers, but also a brilliant (if wildly extravagant) director whose Greed (1924) still ranks among the greatest achievements in cinema history. Variously described as a scion of Prussian nobility and a highranking career Army officer (he only served briefly, although he retained a fascination for all things military), he was in fact the supervisor of his father's strawhat factory in Vienna before emigrating to America several years before World War 1. Von Stroheim entered the movie business in 1914 as a bit player, adviser on military costume and customs, and finally an assistant director; he spent some time with pioneering director D. W. Griffith, reportedly acting in The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916), among others. His unmistakable ancestry made him an ideal villain in many propagandistic films made when America entered the war, including Sylvia of the Secret Service (1917), and three 1918 releases, Hearts of the World (a Griffith film on which he also served as technical adviser), The Hun Within and The Heart of Humanity (in which he hurled a baby out a window!).

With horrible-Hun types out of fashion after war's end, von Stroheim (as he was by now billed) turned to directing at Universal, first with Blind Husbands (1919), based on his own short story. It, as well as his subsequent films The Devil's Passkey (1920) and Foolish Wives (1922), concentrated on overtly if not explicitly sexual themes, with more than a hint of depravity for those clever enough to spot it. But von Stroheim wasn't just interested in making exploitative melodramas; his films were rich in characterization and detail, and he lavished attention on sets, costumes, props, and makeup. Too much so, in fact: He constantly bickered with Universal management about cost overruns on his pictures. (One well-known and perhaps apocryphal story had him ordering embroidery of authentic underwear for his soldier extras to wear, on the grounds that they would know exactly how their reallife counterparts felt!)

Von Stroheim's extravagance extended to the amount of film he exposed, forcing Universal to cut Foolish Wives by nearly a third. An enormously successful film, it barely recouped its costs. Universal production head Irving Thalberg, finally fed up with von Stroheim's continued intransigence, removed him from Merry-GoRound (1923), which was finished by Rupert Julian. Unrepentant, he began production on what would become his one true masterpiece, Greed for the newly merged Metro and Goldwyn studios. Based on a novel of the naturalist school written by Frank Norris, Greed provided von Stroheim ample opportunities to explore the human frailties he so loved delineating on the screen. Shot on location in San Francisco and Death Valley, the picture ran to 42 reels (about seven hours) and went way over budget.

Even von Stroheim realized that there was no way the new company could exhibit a seven-hour film. He reluctantly cut it to four hours, and another director, Rex Ingram, shaved it by another hour. MetroGoldwyn finally cut it to 10 reels (little over 100 minutes) and released it to mixed reviews. Nonetheless, no one disputed von Stroheim's artistry and filmmaking expertise, and in 1925 MGM (now joined by Louis B. Mayer) assigned him to direct a silent version of the Lehar operetta The Merry Widow Predictably, von Stroheim all but threw out the libretto and stuffed the picture with scenes of debauchery and perversion. It was his swan song at MGM. He then cowrote, directed, and starred in The Wedding March (1928, for independent producer Pat Powers), the story of a roguish Viennese prince who agrees to marry into a wealthy family to help his own, only to fall in love with a beautiful but impoverished girl (Fay Wray). A stunning and emotional film, it too ran much longer than its distributor, Paramount, could bear; Americans saw only the first half of the story. (The second half, The Honeymoon was released separately in Europe.)

Von Stroheim's last silent film was another disaster. Gloria Swanson produced and starred in Queen Kelly (1928), the story of a convent girl swept off her feet by a roguish prince (they were, if you hadn't noticed by now, von Stroheim fixtures) and whisked away to Africa. His trademark scenes of decadence were much in evidence, but Swanson fired him halfway through shooting, after he'd already spent some $600,000. The film was quickly and choppily finished, released tentatively in some overseas markets, then shelved forever (or so it seemed; a restored version with still photographs printed into the film was prepared in the 1980s).

Still adamant about maintaining his work methods, von Stroheim began a Fox talkie, Walking Down Broadway in 1932. Once again, the plug was pulled when he ran over schedule and over budget. Much of his completed footage sat on the studio shelf for a year, then was interpolated into newly shot material and released in 1933 as Hello Sister

Von Stroheim never again directed a film, but stayed in the industry as a character actor-on occasion a darn good one. In the talkie era he appeared in The Great Gabbo (1929, as a ventriloquist!), Three Faces East (1930, one of his best, as an elegant spy), Friends and Lovers (1931), The Lost Squadron (1932, as a dictatorial movie director), Crimson Romance, The Fugitive Road (both 1934), and The Crime of Dr. Crespi (1935) before returning to Europe, where he made many films, including one timeless gem: Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion (1937), in which he unforgettably portrayed a cultured German commandant overseeing Allied prisoners during World War 1.

Back in America to escape the Nazi juggernaut of death and devastation, von Stroheim played
supporting parts in I Was an Adventuress (1940), So Ends Our Night (1941), The North Star (1943), Five Graves to Cairo (also 1943, as Field Marshal Rommel in this excellent Billy Wilder film), Storm Over Lisbon, Armored Attack, 32 Rue de Montmartre, The Lady and the Monster (all 1944), Scotland Yard Investigator, The Great Flamarion (both 1945), and The Mask of Dijon (1946). After the war's end he went back to Europe for good, returning to Hollywood only once more, to appear (most effectively) as Gloria Swanson's devoted servant in Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd (1950, Oscarnominated). He worked in a handful of European-made films and collaborated on several screenplays before his death in 1957. Though reduced to a caricature in many of his Hollywood films, and scorned for his indulgences as a director, he was awarded the Legion of Honor in France shortly before his death. His sons both pursued careers behind the scenes in Hollywood.

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