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Hey Silent Film fans

 
 
Reply Sun 14 Jun, 2015 10:31 pm
As I speak, TCM is showing the silent film, "Greed" made in 1924. Its an Erich von Stroheim's silent masterpiece about a dentist and his avaricious wife played by ZaSu Pitts. Its been edited down from the original9 hour to 242 minutes.

If you get a chance, let everyone know what your impression is.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 951 • Replies: 14
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glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2015 10:30 am
@glitterbag,
I watched the film, it was a little choppy. Apparently, the 4 hour version is considered a masterpiece.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2015 12:27 pm
@glitterbag,
glitterbag wrote:

I watched the film, it was a little choppy. Apparently, the 4 hour version is considered a masterpiece.

The four-hour version doesn't exist. I believe it was shown once, to studio executives, after the director, Erich von Stroheim, had edited the original version down from around twenty hours. The theatrical release was drastically cut on the orders of Irving Thalberg, who took over the production of Greed after the merger of Metro and Goldwyn studios. Much the same story as The Magnificent Ambersons: the "director's cut" is considered a masterpiece, even though nobody has seen it.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2015 02:23 pm
@joefromchicago,
Oh thats too bad. Although TCM usually shows silent films late in the evening, even if they had the 4 hour version, I probably would have fallen asleep. I didn't realize they filmed 20 hours of Greed....When I was much younger, I used to borrow books on the silent era from a small library located in a DOD facility. Im not sure why there were so many books on this topic, but there were also lots of biographies. The library very very small and wasn't a public library, but it offered reading materials, and there was also a small travel agency. When the facility was first built, it was very isolated and I think these modest accommodations were simply there to provide access for both civilian and military personnel who usually didn't get home until community services were already closed. I wish I still had access to those books.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2015 06:06 pm
The source material for Greed was Frank Norris's McTeague, and von Stroheim set out to film the entire book -- and McTeague isn't a very long book. So it wasn't a film version of a novel, it was a filmed novel. That's why the original cut was so long. The director pared it down to four hours and tried to persuade the studio to show it in two parts over consecutive nights. That didn't fly with the producer, Irving Thalberg, who ordered further cuts, and the film then went out to the theaters in the version that we have today. The consensus of those who saw the unedited version was that it was "brilliant, but too long."

ZaSu Pitts was an interesting choice for the heroine. At the time, she was relatively unknown, and von Stroheim picked her for her waif-like appearance and expressive eyes. Despite her critical success in Greed, she went on to appear mostly in comedies, including a series of shorts paired with Thelma Todd and, later, with Patsy Kelly.



glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Jun, 2015 08:25 pm
@joefromchicago,
Holy Crap, it Billy Gilbert. He was terrific in the Laurel and Hardy flicks. Max Sennet and Hal Roach knew how to create comedy. Granted. some of these antics would be considered corny, but human nature doesn't change. Funny is funny.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Jun, 2015 08:57 am
Billy Gilbert appeared in films with just about every comic actor in Hollywood's golden age: Laurel & Hardy, the Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, the Three Stooges, Red Skelton, etc. He also had a memorable role in His Girl Friday, one of the funniest movies of all time. He often played dialect roles, and he developed a comic sneezing routine that led directly to voicing the role of Sneezy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

http://www.wearysloth.com/Gallery/ActorsG/6533-8594.jpg
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Jun, 2015 10:09 am
I love those old films also.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2015 03:14 pm
This might not mean much to most of you, but this news has me really excited:

Quote:
Over the weekend, it was quietly announced at the Library of Congress’ festival of “unidentified, underidentified, or misidentified films” that one of the most deeply mourned lost treasures in film history has reappeared. As reported by Pamela Hutchinson at Silent London, silent film historian Jon Mirsalis unexpectedly rediscovered the second reel of Laurel and Hardy’s 1927 film The Battle of the Century, lost for 60 years. The Battle of the Century is not only a crucial film in the careers of Laurel and Hardy, but it contains the biggest, best, funniest execution of the pie-in-the-face gag in cinematic history. For fans of early film comedy, this discovery is roughly the equivalent of Moby Dick swimming ashore carrying the Holy Grail.


Read the rest here.

https://silentlondon.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/battle_of_the_century.jpg?w=600
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glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2015 06:09 pm
Laurel & Hardy were magical together, local tv stations would play edited clips of their films (cut stuff for commercial breaks) I didn't realize how much had been cut until my younger brother was studying film at U of Md. He would borrow reels from the University and that's when I saw scenes that were hilarious but completely cut out in order to fit a tv schedule.

There is one film that I remember, where Laurel is trying to bottle wine while sitting in a trailer. As he bumbles with the hose, bottles and corks you watch him get slowly hammered. Later he cracks a whip while he romps thru a campsite, I just can't remember the name.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Jun, 2015 09:42 pm
Laurel and Hardy are favorites of mine. I hope to get a look at that film.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2015 10:47 am
@edgarblythe,
Me too, you can get a few Laurel & Hardy DVD'S via Amazon.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jun, 2015 10:48 am
I have a few collections of both talkies and silent.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2015 06:48 pm
@edgarblythe,
Im fascinated by the W.C.Fields films. "Do you know Carl LaFong, Capital L small a capital F small o small n small g? No I don't know Carl LaFong, Capital L small a Capital F small o small n small g."
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Jul, 2015 08:35 pm
@glitterbag,
I have a particular fondness for WC Fields, the man and comedian. And juggler.
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