During the 1910s, Erich von Stroheim began his film career. He was best known for playing sadistic yet sometimes seductive Prussians on screen. He went on to become a film director as well, earning a reputation for unparalleled egomania, arrogance and self-indulgence, having the tendency of constantly change stories and sets that never satisfied him.
In 1920, the future archaeologist Indiana Jones, working for Universal Studios to fund his college education, was sent to Hollywood by Universal head Carl Laemmle to wrap up Erich von Stroheim's extravagantly over-budget and overdue film Foolish Wives.
Over the next years, von Stroheim suffered dismissal from several studios for which he worked with studio executives, like Irving G. Thalberg, who ended up assigning other filmmakers to finish or destroy von Stroheim's films.
Due to Erich von Stroheim's mixed reputation, he would be remembered as a Hollywood's pioneer whom everyone loved to hate.
Personality and traits
Erich von Stroheim was an unmistakable man with a suave demeanor, impeccable wardrobe and a bullet-head. He presented himself as so solid such a force of nature that when he stepped into the scene of a film, he didn't need to say a word. As a film director, von Stroheim gained a reputation for self-indulgence and unparalleled egomania and arrogance. His ambition was both one of his great strenghts but also his great liability, being considered a greater artist than a great businessman though his attitude ultimately led to his being fired from several film studios.
Behind the scenes
Erich von Stroheim was played by Dana Gladstone in Young Indiana Jones and the Hollywood Follies. When Indiana and Claire Lieberman watches footage from Foolish Wives, it's the real Erich von Stroheim who appears in it.
In real life, Erich von Stroheim died in 1957—the year during which Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull takes place.
- The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Young Indiana Jones and the Hollywood Follies" → Hollywood Follies
- The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones Media Kit
- Erich von Stroheim - The Profligate Genius (Non-fiction source)