Preminger, whose temper is said to make Genghis Khan resemble Colonel
Sanders, moved impatiently onto the set...But just then a conversation from off
the set became audible.
He marched out of the set and onto the platform, high above the floor of a
sound stage at Paramount. A man with a mustache, who turned out to be the
representative of the studio head, was talking to a cameraman.
"You!" Preminger roared, pointing an accusing finger at the man. "Out! Get
off my set. Yesterday you come and make noise, and today you come and make
noise, and that is all! All! If I see you on this set again, I will take my bare
hands, and . . . I hear noise!" Preminger thundered. "Mr. Von Stroheim, do you hear noise?"
His nose lifted up as if sniffing out the offending conversation.
"Nothing out here,” said Erich Von Stroheim Jr., Preminger's first assistant
"All the same." Preminger roared, "I hear noise. I cannot stand noise, and I am
the director, and this is my set, and that is my privilege!"
...Preminger marched to the telephone to talk to Paramount's front office.
"Number one," he shouted, "do not ever let that man on my set again -- that
what's-his-name. That's number one."