Sign in to follow this  
solarblast

Greed, the longest movie ever made? Faithful to the book?

7 posts in this topic

Greed was produced by von Stroheim. Years ago I heard that one Hollywood movie was made that was completely faithful from the book, and took something close to 48 hours to show. Eventually, it was reduced to 6 then 4 hours. It was shown in with a split screen. On one side was a page of the book, and on the other was the actors performing what was shown on the page.

 

Anyone know whether this is true. Wikipedia has an entry for Greed, but does not mention the split screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't imagine who would SIT through it. Never heard of it myself, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

 

The longest movie I ever heard of was the Soviet production of *War and Peace* , which was over six hours long.

 

Then there's those movies that aren't really that long, but SEEM like it! :0

 

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When GREED was premiered, it was 42 reels long (a reel lasting roughly 10 minutes), this would put it at about a little under 8 hours long. Von Stroheim edited that version down to 6 hours. MGM wanted it shorter, so Von Stroheim asked Rex Ingram to edit the film, and his version clocked in at 4 hours. Still not satisfied, the brass at MGM had it edited again to its current length of 2 hours.

The "reconstructed" version runs closer to the Ingram edited version of 4 hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=Sepiatone wrote:}{quote}I can't imagine who would SIT through it. Never heard of it myself, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

>

> Sepiatone

I'm slightly surprised that you've never heard of Greed, since it's been shown several times here on TCM in the 4 hour version, most recently last September. But maybe you're just referring to the full 8 hour movie, which apparently is lost forever.

 

In any case, you should see it the next time it plays. There's a reason it's consistently ranked among the greatest movies of all time, but you'll never know why until you watch it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched the 4 hour version when it aired in September. I remember thinking that as great as this film is, and I did really enjoy it, I don't think I could have sat thru 8 hours. But it is unfortunate that parts are lost.

It was wonderful to see the film as shown, fascinating to see Zasu Pitts in a role like that. Great, great film and hope it's shown again soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=lavenderblue19 wrote:}{quote}I watched the 4 hour version when it aired in September. I remember thinking that as great as this film is, and I did really enjoy it, I don't think I could have sat thru 8 hours. But it is unfortunate that parts are lost.

> It was wonderful to see the film as shown, fascinating to see Zasu Pitts in a role like that. Great, great film and hope it's shown again soon.

Funny you mention ZaSu Pitts. Seeing her in Greed wasn't just my first revelation about her, but my second. For about 50 years all I knew about Pitts was her role in a lightweight Gale Storm TV sitcom called Oh, Susanna. Then a few years ago I discovered (on TCM, of course) her early 30's comedy shorts and B-movies, where she often played alongside Thelma Todd. And then in 2010 I finally got to see Greed. This is just one more reason why TCM is one of the world's greatest cultural resources.

 

And whether or not I'd ever be able to make it through the now-lost 8 hour version of Greed, I sure would've liked to have been able to find that out by experience rather than conjecture. The 4 hour version definitely left me wanting more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I HAVE heard of *Greed* , Andy, but never saw it. And I really didn't know about all that backstory. That just makes it more interesting to me.

 

Give another heads up whenever it's scheduled, please.

 

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us