Final Specs On Kino's upcoming Erich von Stroheim DVDs

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Roderick Gauci, Apr 5, 2003.

  1. Roderick Gauci

    Roderick Gauci Stunt Coordinator

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    The following is taken from the “Alt.Movies.Silent” website, concerning 3 great DVDs of classic Erich Von Stroheim films coming from Kino in June.

    “The Kino Von Stroheim's will be released on June 10 and will probably be on sale on Web site with the usual 30% off discount a few weeks before.

    There are Three:

    QUEEN KELLY
    FOOLISH WIVES with THE MAN YOU LOVE TO HATE
    BLIND HUSBANDS with THE GREAT GABBO (from Library of Congress Material)

    Below is a list of extras.


    QUEEN KELLY:

    ·Digitally remastered from 35mm negative.
    ·Audio commentary by von Stroheim biographer Richard Koszarski
    ·Rare outtakes (approx. 15 min.)
    ·The "Swanson Ending" (approx. 5 min.)
    ·Swanson Discusses Queen Kelly (20 min. video)
    ·Photo Gallery
    ·Screenplay Excerpt
    ·Production Documents
    ·Brief note on the film by von Stroheim
    ·Audio interview clips: Director of photography Paul Ivano, First Asst. Cameraman William Margulies, Allan Dwan and Billy Wilder
    ·Excerpts from MERRY-GO-ROUND (Scenes directed by von Stroheim [music by Rodney Sauer]; excerpt of the novel, brief notes on the film by von Stroheim)
    ·"Man of Many Skins" (starring Erich von Stroheim and Denise Vernac), a 27-minute episode of the 1952 European TV series "Orient-Express"


    FOOLISH WIVES & THE MAN YOU LOVE TO HATE:

    ·Audio Commentary by Koszarski
    ·Rare outttake footage
    ·Photo Gallery
    ·New York Censor Board Cuts
    ·1922 Score performed By Rodney Saur
    ·Audio Clips with Valerie von Stroheim & Paul Kohner
    ·Note on films by von Stroheim


    BLIND HUSBANDS & GREAT GABBO

    ·Score by Donald Sosin adapted from 1919 Cue Sheets
    ·Excerpts from original press books
    ·Dossier on ill fated remake of Blind Husbands
    ·"The High Command" a 1944 radio broadcast with von Stroheim
    ·Various other notes by von Stroheim & photos”


    I haven’t watched THE GREAT GABBO (1929; in which von Stroheim only stars as an egomaniacal ventriloquist) or Patrick Montgomery’s feature-length documentary on von Stroheim, THE MAN YOU LOVE TO HATE (1980), or Image’s MERRY-GO-ROUND (1923; started by von Stroheim but completed by Rupert Julian) - which should be released next week - for that matter, so I’ll be picking up all of them immediately. The supplements sound pretty good, especially the ones on the QUEEN KELLY (1928) disc – but that’s perhaps because the other two are basically double-features!

    There’s no company that treats Silent films the way Kino does, that’s for sure – and I’ll certainly keep supporting their products for as long as I can!
     
  2. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Roderick

    thanks for news about these dvds, yet I have never seen a Von Stroheim before, so where would I start ?

    regards

    Oscar

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]

    Looks like this is becoming quite a year for silent cinema.
     
  4. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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  5. Roderick Gauci

    Roderick Gauci Stunt Coordinator

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    Quote (originally posted by Oscar Merkx):

    "Roderick

    thanks for news about these dvds, yet I have never seen a Von Stroheim before, so where would I start ?

    regards

    Oscar"


    For the record, the Erich von Stroheim films I have watched are the following:

    1.BLIND HUSBANDS (1919) – von Stroheim’s debut feature was already an accomplished and highly original film, which also provided him with an excellent villainous role (virtually reworked to perfection in both FOOLISH WIVES and THE WEDDING MARCH); the fact that this was only one of two von Stroheim films which have emerged unscathed by studio tampering should make it a must-buy for one and all!

    2.FOOLISH WIVES (1922) – von Stroheim’s third film as director survives in a “butchered” version: according to the IMDB, it was “originally produced at a running time of 6 hours 24 minutes, cut to 3 1/2 hours for its premiere, and then to 2 1/2 hours for general release; it was later cut again to 73 minutes, and years later, a 120-minute print was released.” Furthermore, Kino’s current VHS edition runs for 107 minutes and Image’s DVD has a running time of 141 minutes! Mind-boggling stuff, I tell you! Master French film-maker Jean Renoir has often stated that he was most impressed on viewing this during its initial run and is probably the reason why he chose to become a film director (much like Fritz Lang’s DESTINY [1921] was largely responsible for both Alfred Hitchcock and Luis Bunuel becoming directors in their own right, or, more recently, THE RED SHOES [1948] “inspiring” both Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma in choosing their future careers)!

    3.GREED (1999 reconstruction) - I first watched the 140-minute studio version of GREED many years ago on Italian TV. Subsequently, I purchased it on PAL VHS. However, during my last visit to London’s National Film Theater back in September 2002, which was specifically due to their Erich von Stroheim and Kon Ichikawa retrospectives, they also showed Rick Schmidlin’s four hour reconstruction which was made up of the original studio version BUT with the appropriate and, I must say, highly effective gold tints (the shorter version does away with this and presents the film in a standard black-and-white print), and supplemented by copious stills of the deleted footage as and when they fall due in the storyline. While there can be little doubt as to the film’s greatness and place in film history, as well as its importance in Erich von Stroheim’s career, one cannot but feel saddened by the loss of all those reels of footage, a tragedy which, unfortunately, marks most of von Stroheim’s films. As it is, one cannot really objectively assess GREED as a whole - nor, for that matter, Orson Welles’ THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (1942) – although I do have von Stroheim’s complete screenplay in book form; however, one cannot but be eternally grateful to people like David Shephard of Film Preservation Associates and Kevin Brownlow of Photoplay Productions who have dedicated most of their years in the business to restoring and releasing Silent film classics for theatrical, and more recently home video, presentations.

    4.THE MERRY WIDOW (1925) – what was possibly von Stroheim’s greatest (or is that only?) box office success has no plans for a future DVD release so far, which is unfortunate, as the film is quite enjoyable.

    5.THE WEDDING MARCH (1928) – originally a two-part epic comedy of manners, nowadays only Part I survives but remains among von Stroheim’s finest achievements; again no DVD release is planned at this stage, although the print I watched had been meticulously restored by Photoplay Productions, so one never knows.

    6.QUEEN KELLY (1928) – another von Stroheim picture which has to make use of stills to bring the story to any coherent conclusion, since leading actress/producer Gloria Swanson fired director von Stroheim and halted the shooting in mid-production!

    7.HELLO, SISTER (1933; original title: WALKING DOWN BROADWAY) – a film taken out of von Stroheim’s hands and virtually reworked and completed by another director (Alfred L. Werker); only a few trademark touches remain to ascertain his involvement in the picture, but it’s watchable and mildly enjoyable as it is, nonetheless. No DVD plans for this one, either, and I doubt there ever will be.


    One film of von Stroheim’s I missed during the NFT retrospective was MERRY-GO ROUND (1923), but I’ll be able to make amends for this when Image’s upcoming DVD is unveiled on 08/04/03. It was a typically troublesome production which saw von Stroheim being replaced by Rupert Julian (who would later be replaced himself by Edward Sedgwick on Lon Chaney’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA [1925]), but although he is uncredited in the final version, it is thought of as virtually an Erich von Stroheim production.
     
  6. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    thanks for the update on his films Roderick.

    I take it that most of the dvds that have been released so far, you purchased from Kino then

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Roderick Gauci

    Roderick Gauci Stunt Coordinator

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    Here is a link to Kino's official press release for their upcoming Erich von Stroheim DVDs:

    http://revuevideo.com/comingfromkino.html

    I am not one to swoon over cover art, but in this case, I'll make an exception: they look absolutely gorgeous! Furthermore, we can now ascertain the running time of all five features, which given that most of them are silents, could have been problematic. So we have:

    · BLIND HUSBANDS (93 minutes)/THE GREAT GABBO (96 minutes)
    · FOOLISH WIVES (143 minutes)/THE MAN YOU LOVE TO HATE (78 minutes)
    · QUEEN KELLY (101 minutes)

    These are definite must haves for me and now that the full details have been uncovered, I covet them even more! It also makes the wait for Kino’s three upcoming Fritz Lang DVDs all the more painful!
     
  8. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    these street the same day as Warners 2 disc SE of Once Upon A Time in America, Giant, Robin Hood POT and The Right Stuff

    my god choices to make

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    All that for only $30. What a bargain, I think I will buy one. I've never seen any of Von Stroheim's directorial efforts, but have been looking forward to seeing them for some time. I can't wait.
     
  10. Vincent Matis

    Vincent Matis Second Unit

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    Am I mistaken, or in Sunset Blvd, Max (played by Erich Von Stroheim) is showing QUEEN KELLY to Gloria Swanson?

    Vincent
     
  11. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Vincent,

    You're correct. I was under the assumption that Queen Kelly was never completed, but I guess it was just that Von Stroheim was fired from the project.
     
  12. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Has anyone found an online retailer that shows these in stock yet. Usually, I can find DVDs listed as in stock within a few days of the release date, but every site that I've visited shows these titles as "Coming Soon".

    Has the date been pushed back, or this pipeline just filling very slowly? This is the first Kino title that I've been eager to get on day and date, so I'm not sure how timely they are on getting product to market.
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Paramount would be the one to release The Wedding March. The clips (supposedly authorized by Paramount) in Martin Scorsese's "A Personal Journey Through American Cinema" are nearly perfect.

    Gaylord Carter recorded a digital stereo score on organ for the VHS/LD release of the film, so I hope they do a DVD.

    It looks like Warner Home Video is jumpstarting a "Turner Classic Movies" label for their silent releases (see the thread on MGM Lon Chaney films for more info), so they will probably do some Von films. A set of Chaney films is coming this October and WB hinted at some other silents coming by next year. Greed would definately be one of the best known of the MGM silents (along with Ben-Hur and others)
     

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