Wednesday, June 8, 2011

22. Greed


If it is possible to botch watching a movie, I just did it.  If you are unfamilar with the dramatic history of this film, let me give you the lowdown.  This movie was originally nine hours long but when the director's arch rival became general director of MGM studios, it was cut to two and half hours long (presumably he did it just to be a jackass).   Erich von Stroheim, the director of the movie, called it a "mutilation of his work" and everyone apparently thinks it is the greatest loss in cinema.  The version I watched tried to fill in some missing parts by putting in stills and connecting it with title cards.  The overall effect was like watching a four hour long powerpoint.  The actual movie was good but if it the rest is gone, it's gone.  Let's not half ass this thing.

This film is about an illegal dentist who falls in love with one of his patients.  There is a really creepy scene where he kinds of molests her while she is knocked out.  I have a male dentist, and I sincerely hope that if he ever has to put me to sleep, no funny business happens.  Anyway, this patient is also his best friend's girlfriend.  The friend "gives" him his girlfriend (um, hello?  She is not a trophy!!!!) but regrets it when she wins the lottery.  I will not ruin the ending for you (even though it gets ruined if you even look up trivia) but it is pretty bleak.

The build up to this movie was unbelievable.  I mean, the greatest loss to cinema?  I expected to fall in love with this film!  Alas, my version screwed me over.  Just get the two and half hour version.  It is sad that parts our missing but deal with it!  I mean, I am sad that Patrick Swayze is dead, but I am not going to try to reconstruct his body for my own perverse enjoyment (I really don't have to worry about creeping people out in The Lost Corner of the Internet).  Plus, even if you were one of the lucky few who saw the nine hour film, that is WAY too long for a movie.  My dad always says to treat each word like it costs a hundred dollars (so I am little in the red right now) and I think the same thing can be applied to film.  If you make a movie last too long, you will lose your audience, plain and simple.  No matter what message you want your audience to walk away with, they are going to end up going away with boredom too.  Okay, rant is over...

RATING: **--- (my version sucked)

Interesting Facts:

Apparently after they cut his movie Stroheim said "The only thing he had on his mind was his hat!"  I would start saying that, but no one wears hats anymore.:(

First film to be shot on location.

Number 9 in AFI's list of Top Ten Lost Films.  I cannot think of a single other film that would be on there.  I have to check that out!

Buster Keaton is next! Yay!

NEW ABSOLUTELY CRAZY GOAL: Get to 150 by the end of August.  Let's do it!!!

I am not going to include a video because the four hour version is the only one available on YouTube.  This is not available on Netflix so I would just bite the bullet and buy it on Amazon.  Of course, it is like ten dollars and you need a tape player but if you watch the other version, it is just like sitting through someone showing you pictures.  I am serious, save yourself!!!


  1. I hated this one and not just the length of the stills but the subject matter as well. Only highlight was the showdown in Death Valley. A total waste of time.

    1. Barely remember this one but it doesn't sound like I am forgetting anything worthwhile.

  2. I took this one carefully and slowly, over a few days, and quite enjoyed it. I was however secretly thankful we didn't have to do the full 10 version. No, I was impressed by several bits .. the wife's corruption by greed, his descent into .. well greed and ten madness... .. I thought the hand tinting was fantastic .. I felt hot and dehydrated in the desert just watching it.

  3. Well, you have dramatically different 'second opinions' there!