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 Posted:   Oct 2, 2004 - 5:35 PM   
 By:   Joe Caps   (Member)

The longer roadshow cut exists in library of Congress in a faded 70mm print. This was told to me years ago by George stevens Jr.
It would cost a lot of money to trasnfer just the missing scenes, and it would be impossible to edit the missing scenes into the existing shorter video master, as the music doe not match up.
the original plan for Anne Frank, was to possibly star Audrey Hepburn as Anne. Things were fine until Miss Hepburn wanted her husband Mel ferrer as Peter. Mel was just to old for the part. Audrey instead chose to do Nuns Story.
As a coincidence, the opening scens of Nuns Story were shot down the street from where the Anne Frank crew was doing location shooting.
Dear warners, Where is a letterbox Nuns Story dvd?

 Posted:   Oct 3, 2004 - 9:26 PM   
 By:   paul rossen   (Member)

Agree....When is WB finally going to release NUN'S STORY?

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 12:15 AM   
 By:   kenkoc   (Member)

I agree THE NUNS STORY is long overdue on DVD. Is there a way we can somehow pettion Warners?

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 4:14 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

Warners tends to put out DVDs in batches with some sort of thematic element.

So how about a "nuns" group of DVDs?

Warners could release "The Nun's Story" with Audrey Hepburn, "The Miracle" with Carroll Baker, "The Singing Nun" with Debbie Reynolds, and, of course, "Nun But The Lonely Heart" with Cary Grant and Ethel Barrymore!

big grin big grin big grin

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 9:38 AM   
 By:   Joe Caps   (Member)

I would love to see a widescreen dvd of The Miracle. Not a bad for excep[t for a couple of really silly scenes. the score is great.

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 2:32 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

There was also a longer almost silent scene of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. As he is silently praying, you could hear from the fr left channel the pieces of silver being counted over to Judas.

I'd forgotten that. I remember it was very effective that, as Christ prayed, the soundtrack included those metal pieces clinking away. As I recall, during a later showing I attended, I actually counted them, and it certainly seemed like thirty. (I saw that film as a roadshow at least 3, maybe 4, times, as well as at my local theatre at least once.)

I loved it at the time, but was still overwhelmed by its lack of pacing. I took my mother to see it, when we were both in Boston, and her take on it was that it was very "static," i.e. that it lacked movement. Each scene still seems like a still-life, as if we're looking at a protracted series of chiaroscuro paintings, with a soundtrack attached. She had a point.

It was tragic that the Newman choruses were excised. They're familiar to us now, but for years I knew of them as little more beyond a rumor. A real shame, because it was Newman that took the brunt of the criticism at the time for the use of the Handel and Verdi, not Stevens.

George Stevens, it has been said, had a character-changing experience during WWII, so intense that he never made another sheerly entertaining film again, but needed to convey messages. I applaud his sincerity, but it frequently got in the way of his craft. Even DIARY has long sequences with this kind of static lack of movement, which works a lot better, given a story of people who could be murdered if they moved too much.

DIARY's score is brilliant. For years, I had a stereo lp from Japan, that had longer cues than the previous mono version I'd gotten, for $1 in a bin of out-of-print Fox soundtracks I found at Gimbel's department store, in Pittsburgh. But it didn't include the main title, which I have always thought was the most moving cue in the score.

We definitely need an expanded, legitimate release, from whomever.

(For those who are interested in such things, Newman's score for THE COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR is very similar.)

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 5:15 PM   
 By:   mulan98   (Member)


Couldn't agree more John. Great score for a terrific film now seemingly 'lost'.

Long overdue for DVD/CD.


Mulan. (my name's actually Frank).

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 7:58 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

(For those who are interested in such things, Newman's score for THE COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR is very similar.)

That's a little misleading. TRAITOR does indeed contain some highly emotive music for divided strings. In that respect it resembles DIARY. But other portions, such as the rip-roaring prelude, actually resemble the Cheyenne attack in HOW THE WEST WAS WON. That's another ball of wax entirely!

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 8:26 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)


Couldn't agree more John. Great score for a terrific film now seemingly 'lost'.

Long overdue for DVD/CD.....

I agree with you and John. Newman's score for THE COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR is wonderful, and the film, like most Perlberg-Seaton productions is class all-the-way!

Although we don't have a legit CD, the DVD has been out on Paramount Home Video for some months now, at least in the US. If you can play Region 1 discs you might want to look for it.

I saw the film when it first came out, and I've had the disc for some time, but as yet I still haven't looked at it. As I become older I'm finding that films like this, dealing as it does with man's inhumanity to his fellow man, become more harrowing for me over the years and I often cannot bear to watch them again once I've bought them.

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 8:42 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

The problem with some of the erudition on this messageboard is that some people make claims they simply cannot back up with any facts, whatsoever.

Don't be too impressed by single-source info herein...ask for, and get, proof before buying off on any of it. I think it's fair to say you won't see any proof. It's tempting to fall for it because it's all based on "might have been", but I believe it's all imaginary. Until proof is proferred...and knowing the source, proof will NEVER be wary.

Too many people have been burned "believing" the things he says.

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 10:19 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Amen, Ron. Of course we had the VOTD thread, where, after a week, he FINALLY admitted he was wrong, but only after telling us he was right over and over again and calling us all idiots. WE presented him with the irrefutable proof and then he finally had to admit he was in error.

I saw Greatest Story within the first days of its opening (I believe it was its second day) and the film NEVER EVER EVER ran four hours and twenty minutes. EVER. Not in any THEATRICAL run EVER. Maybe in some pre-release screening for the studio or some audience somewhere where, I'm sure after the studio sat and scratched its head and said you cannot release a four hour and twenty minute movie even in roadshow, it was cut to it's roadshow length of three and a half hours plus.

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 11:27 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)


Couldn't agree more John. Great score for a terrific film now seemingly 'lost'.

Long overdue for DVD/CD.


Mulan. (my name's actually Frank).

I like that. Frank as Mulan. Funny; you don't seem like a Medieval Chinese warrior maid. Though one never knows.

Re: COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR. The DVD has been available for a few months. e-mail me at johnbarchibald (at) cox (dot) com and we can discuss it.

 Posted:   Oct 4, 2004 - 11:30 PM   
 By:   Brian D. Mellies   (Member)

Back to "The Greatest Story Ever Told". I will not accept being called a liar.

Joe Caps is absolutely correct about the L.A. roadshow version.

I saw the film several times in it's roadshow presentation at the Pacific Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.

The first time was the very first matinee the afternoon after the premiere. With Overture (from which, of course, the Main Title flows uninterrupted), Intermission, and Exit Music, the total time of the film was something over four hours. Not owning a stopwatch in those days, and not knowing that 40 years later my recollection would be in doubt (but not by me), I can only give you a TRUTHFUL approximation, which would be around 4 hrs 15 minutes to 4 hrs 20 minutes.

That said, somewhere early on, I think within the first week or two, it started to shrink. Not that whole scenes were cut, but more like little things, like reaction shots, started to disappear. And then, I noticed, some of the music started to change. I recall the "Overture" was somehow changed, shortened. But I can't remember how anymore. The most important being, of course, the (as it now turns out to be) reinstatement of Newman's original Act One "Hallelujah".

I think it ended up at around 3 1/4 hours with intermission.

I also remember being added to the Main Title credits "Additional Music by Hugo Friedhofer and Fred Steiner", which, I believe, has now been removed.

IMDB lists the running time of the original roadshow as 225 minutes. Add intermission and exit, and you are easily at four hours. But what I first saw was longer.

And why did I see it so many times? Well, because I had a relative who was an executive at Desilu, whose Culver City lot (the old Selznick Studios) was rented out for several scenes (including, I think, the temple), and he got me passes.

So that's what I remember. I am in my late 50s (last time I checked), and so far as I know, my faculties are all reasonably well intact.

 Posted:   Oct 5, 2004 - 12:24 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Well, I believe I must have been in the same audience with you and the film in no way ran over four hours. It didn't. It may have been the 225 that imdb lists but that would have INCLUDED the overture, intermission and exit music. Although MY memory, which is usually pretty good, is that it didn't hit the four hour mark. I know this because the film made me very antsy and I looked at my watch several times during the second half.

 Posted:   Oct 5, 2004 - 6:03 PM   
 By:   MichaelM   (Member)

re: TGSET running time

The world gala premiere of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" was held Feb 15th, 1965 at the Warner Cinerama Theatre in New York. It was a benefit of the United Nations Association of the United States of America and the Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial Foundation in Celebration of the International Cooperation Year in the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations.

The Los Angeles premiere was held at Pacific's Cinerama Theatre on Wednesday, February 17th, 1965. At both gala premieres, the film clocked in at 260 minutes. Understandably, the general reaction was that the film ran too long, so on February 20, Stevens and his staff went back into the editing room "with the purpose of paring it without in any way emasculating it".

It was during these editing sessions that it was decided to put Newman's Hallelulah chorus back into the end of act one. This edited version became the general roadshow release and initially ran 238 minutes, but either Stevens or the studio kept making changes while the film was still in roadshow release until they arrived at a "final" roadshow version running 225 minutes, which may account for the various conflicting reports on footage and running time - the film kept changing while in early roadshow release.

The next edit-down was requested by UA in April 1965 (197 minutes, this is the version currently available on DVD), and UA made a final "bastardized" theatrical version for a re-release in March 1967 (141 minutes). Finally, the shortest version running 127 minutes was released on home video back in the '80s.

 Posted:   Oct 5, 2004 - 6:26 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Well, if my memory is wrong I'm happy to say so, but in order for me to say so you'll have to provide sources for your astonishing 260 minute claim, at least here in LA. All I remember, as I've stated, was that I was so BORED to tears by the film, I kept looking at my watch the entire second half of the film and I do not remember being in that theater for over four hours.

 Posted:   Oct 5, 2004 - 7:01 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

"All I remember, as I've stated, was that I was so BORED to tears by the film"

Just remember that some of those who think otherwise of the film might consider that attitude "shameful". wink

 Posted:   Oct 5, 2004 - 8:38 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Dahlink, I SAW the film. Shameful only applies if you haven't seen the film or heard the score. :-)

And I do know it is somewhat shameful that I was bored to tears, and those were the days when I LOVED long films - I mean, I saw Ben-Hur and King of Kings roadshow more times than I can count. But Greatest Story was, for me, a snoozefest. I can tolerate it now, and even admire some of it now (and I love the Newman score and always have), but it just doesn't come together for me, not at any length.

 Posted:   Oct 5, 2004 - 9:00 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

I always remember a comment from, I think, Raymond Durgnat, that Wyler got more religious feeling into one shot of BEN-HUR (Judah striding away from the Beatitudes, as seen in extreme long shot from over Jesus' shoulder) than Stevens did into the whole of GSET. But of course the latter film is often extraordinarly beautiful to look at and listen to.

 Posted:   Oct 5, 2004 - 11:20 PM   
 By:   paul rossen   (Member)

The disagreements over the length is really a moot question as none of us will probably ever be able to see any 'final'extended roadshow version(per Joe Caps).
This I can verify...
1. World Premiere was on February 15, 1965 at the Warner 'Cinerama' in NYC.
2. The reviews from the NYT, Daily News and Herald Tribune(a really fine paper in it's day) all stated running time 221 minutes...the News and Tribune stated 221 minutes plus 15 minutes
intermission. That's getting mighty close to 4hrs!
3. I saw the film a week or so after it opened and believe I saw this version. It had Newman's THE ROBE crucifixion music as well at the Handel Messiah music for the Lazarus scene and end of Act 1.
4 The film was 'cut' in the early spring as I recall ads stating that the film was over at something like 11:25pm for a 8:00pm showing. I believe that this is the version on the laserdisc as well ad dvd.
GSET is a beautiful looking film and is as previously stated 'boring' (imo).

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