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Greed (1925, Erich von Stroheim)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Gordon McMurphy, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    - What is the exact running time of von Stroheim's original cut?

    - What are the various running times of all subsequent versions?

    - What is the condition of the existing elements?

    - What is the quality of previous VHS and Laserdisc transfers and TV broadcasts?

    - Who currently owns the home-video rights?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0015881/alternateversions

    This answers some questions, of course.

    I'd really like to see this film on DVD.


    Gordy
     
  2. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    If I recall correctly this is an MGM title, which means it's owned by Warner (which would make sense, considering TCM sponsored the restoration). I'd like to see a dual disc set of the extant cut and a separate disc of the still-frame restoration. If the rights could be obtained to the von Stroheim script (which has been published) to insert the appropriate script excerpts in the place of the missing footage, that would be nifty as well.

    Rumors swirl around this title and its original length; I don't know that anyone knows for certain how long it was.
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The first assembled cut was about 8 hours long. The version Erich Von Stroheim prepared for release was around 4 hours long. The released version is about 2 1/3 hours.

    The film was restored by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill as part of the "Thames/Turner Silents" series.

    This restoration was later used to create the reconstruction that Rich Scmidlin put together using stills and intertitles which runs a little over 4 hours (and resembles the version Stroheim cut down himself).

    I've only seen the reconstruction, but the quality is fantastic.

    Warner Bros. owns the rights, which means that the TCM Archives label will likely release the DVD. (As a side note, I'm heard rumors about The Big Parade and The Scarlet Letter coming from TCM Archives soon)


    WB could easily make Greed one of their 2-disc releases. A DVD-14 or 18 could hold the reconstruction, a DVD-9 could hold the theatrical version along with extras.
     
  4. Claes Ljunghorn

    Claes Ljunghorn Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    Those two, along with Greed would guarantee three instant purchases from me. The von Stroheim film is ripe for a grand, Special Edition treatment (à la the Kino Metropolis)
     
  6. Sergio Angelini

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    Gordy,

    Rick Schmidlin's presentation of the four hour version is a magnificent effort - I saw it at the NFT (Digital projection - it wasn't done on film) and turned a great film into a stone cold masterpiece.

    I would pay a lot to have this on a 2-disc set curtesy of those nice people at Warner Bros.
     
  7. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Excellent comments by all! [​IMG]

    Silent films on DVD seems to be quite popular, so it would well worth releasing one of the big guns in 2004. There is currently a thread on Gance's Napoleon, a film which is just begging for the lavish digital treatment that DVD provide. I don't particulary think of films as Art, but certain films from the Silent era qualify. But I can't think of a single film in the Modern era that qualifies. Lots of interesting, well-shot films, but it's Entertainment by Commity, in my opinion. Films like Greed are from a time when ways of expressing oneself were plentiful and wide open, and financial gain was an afterthought. Von Stroheim clearly had something to say with Greed and he didn't pull no punches. Few films in the Modern era delve into the abyss of humanity and come up clutching true answers we don't want to hear.

    What was the last film aimed at adults that made you question life, yourself or anything? There aren't many.


    Gordy
     
  8. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    Just a little heads up for the people in Europe:

    The German public chanel ARD is showing Von Stroheim's Greed this night, at 2.05 German time (in three hours). I don't know the running time of this version, or how the intertitles will be handled, but perhaps it'll be "watchable" (unlike most German transmissions of American movies).
     
  9. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    too bad I cannot get any German channel

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Jo_C

    Jo_C Second Unit

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    For the record, guys (especially Partick McCart),

    It is actually Turner Entertainment that owns the movie (although it is now an outlet of Warner Bros.). The original, intended released cut was 8 hours long (this is the version that is the holy grail of all silent films), then Von Stroheim brought it down to 4 hours. It was MGM that cut it further to the extant cut of 2 1/3 hours that exists today.

    The Rick Sheindlin/TCM restoration (such as it was), using still photos to "fill in the blanks", was produced according to an original story outline by Von Stroheim to bring it much closer to the director's original vision, so for now, the TCM edit is as close to the original as we're gonna get.

    By the way, I have personally seen the TCM edit, and it's not bad at all.
     
  11. ChristianLiemke

    ChristianLiemke Stunt Coordinator

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    Last Night I saw the German broadcast on the ARD and the quality was very good. It was the Kevin Brownlow/David Gill restoration with a score by Carl Davis but unfortunately with German intertitels. The Movie had a short introduction to Erich von Stroheim and his bad relationship to Irving Thalberg, who cut his film down to 140 minutes.
     
  12. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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    I've taped it, and sampled the first few minutes to check if it's 'watchable'. Too bad about the German intertitles, but I think I'll manage.

    The (nice but indeed short) introduction claimed the original cut was 9 hours BTW.
     
  13. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    My question would be would anybody want to watch those 9 hours ?
     
  14. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  15. Rod

    Rod Agent

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    According to Todd McCarthy, chief film critic of Variety, "Von Stroheim's original Greed ran at a length generally reported as 9 1/2 hours, a version that was shown only once, on January 12, 1924."

    Roger Ebert adds, the screening "began at 10 a.m. and continued without breaks for lunch or anything else, Von Stroheim sitting ramrod straight through the whole thing as an example to the others."

    -Rod
     
  16. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    It was exciting to hear at the WB Chat tonight that Greed will be a part of the next public voting for next year's WB releases. I would assume that this will take place in July (unlike last year, the voting will be open to everyone--not just AOL users), and that the winners will be released in January 2005 (with the losers trickling out over the remainder of the year).

    Somehow, we'll need to muster a "Silents Majority" (with apologies to the website of the same name) for Greed to win.

    Either way, at least Greed is a lock for 2005!
     
  17. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    very good news indeed about Greed

    Can't wait

    Lew

    it is like watching Godfather or SW Trilogy in one go
     
  18. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I'm stoked at the news! Way to go, Warner! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

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    If it does make it to DVD, I hope they include the original 2-hour version. The 4-hour version is interesting from an historical and academic perspective, but as a movie it gets pretty dull imo. I can sit through a 4-hour movie, but not a 2-hour movie with 2 hours of still photos.
     
  20. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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