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Greed (1925, Erich von Stroheim)


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#1 of 35 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted November 21 2003 - 12:10 AM

- 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/...ternateversions

This answers some questions, of course.

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


Gordy


#2 of 35 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted November 21 2003 - 03:01 AM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted November 21 2003 - 03:06 AM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Claes Ljunghorn

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Posted November 21 2003 - 05:30 AM

Quote:
I'm heard rumors about The Big Parade and The Scarlet Letter coming from TCM Archives soon


I really hope that is true. It would be great to have "The Big Parade" on dvd! Posted Image

#5 of 35 OFFLINE   Brian PB

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Posted November 21 2003 - 09:58 AM

As a side note, I'm heard rumors about The Big Parade and The Scarlet Letter coming from TCM Archives soon


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 of 35 OFFLINE   Sergio Angelini

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Posted November 21 2003 - 09:30 PM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted November 22 2003 - 04:33 AM

Excellent comments by all! Posted Image

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Mark_vdH

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Posted March 07 2004 - 09:07 AM

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).
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#9 of 35 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted March 07 2004 - 09:25 AM

too bad I cannot get any German channel

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#10 of 35 OFFLINE   Jo_C

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Posted March 07 2004 - 11:09 AM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   ChristianLiemke

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Posted March 08 2004 - 03:03 AM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Mark_vdH

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Posted March 08 2004 - 03:35 AM

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.
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#13 of 35 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted March 08 2004 - 05:04 AM

My question would be would anybody want to watch those 9 hours ?
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#14 of 35 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted March 08 2004 - 05:48 AM

Quote:
My question would be would anybody want to watch those 9 hours ?

I want to watch it all. What would happen once I got into it, is another matter.

I want to watch, because the film at its eight or nine hour length is such a mythic part of early cinema, that at least one viewing seems essential.

Still that is a very long time.
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#15 of 35 OFFLINE   Rod

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Posted March 08 2004 - 02:27 PM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Brian PB

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Posted March 08 2004 - 04:22 PM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted March 08 2004 - 07:31 PM

very good news indeed about Greed

Can't wait

Lew

it is like watching Godfather or SW Trilogy in one go
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#18 of 35 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted March 09 2004 - 01:32 AM

I'm stoked at the news! Way to go, Warner! Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image


#19 of 35 OFFLINE   Matt Stieg

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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:18 AM

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 of 35 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted March 09 2004 - 08:18 AM

Quote:
it is like watching Godfather or SW Trilogy in one go

And less than watching the LOTR EE when the final chapter is available. Posted Image
¡Time is not my master!





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