Greed (1924) 2018 Movie of the week- Jan 8-14
Greed is a difficult movie even before you start watching it. The original cut of the film was 10 hours long and was meant to be seen over 2 days with an intermission on each day. MGM showed that cut exactly 1 time before trimming Greed down to 140 minutes. In 1999 Turner Entertainment created a reconstruction of Erich von Stroheim's original version using archival photos and von Stroheim's original continuity outline. The result is the only easily accessible version of the film and runs just under 4 hours.
I'm going to say something that I almost never say, and I don't think I'll be saying it again soon. The studio was right on this one. Perhaps von Stroheim's original 10-hour cut really was the greatest film ever made. Maybe the extra time allowed the characters to flourish and von Stoheim's plot to solidify, but, as it is now, this reconstruction is only a memorial to what was.
It's a laborious 4 hours that, unlike other great silent epics, doesn't manage to stay relevant or vibrant. If you can find the 2-hour cut it's worth your time, but the reconstruction is a quarter of your day that you'll never get back.