THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostSun Apr 26, 2015 6:17 pm

Donald Binks wrote:I suspend disbelief when watching ANY PICTURE...


One must, of course, and within reasonable limits, it's an adjustment the mind makes subconsciously; but, at some point varying with the individual, the cognitive dissonance generated by ignoring gross improbabilities begins to obtrude into consciousness. The unceasing relentlessness of the wind, & even more so, that blizzard of sand pelting the windows of the train & everything else, exceeded, after a while, my personal capacity for suspending disbelief that these were more or less ordinary conditions (as Monty generously explained to sweet Lillian on the train) in this level of Dante's Inferno.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostMon Apr 27, 2015 7:59 am

Mike Gebert wrote:I love The Searchers, but it has the same problem: putting a cattle ranch in the deserts of New Mexico is about as historically logical as setting Moby Dick on the Mississippi. I'd love to know what the cattle fed on, saguaro cactus? Rattlesnake skins?


That's why the ranches were so big and why the ranchers were against fences. They'd drive the cattle to the foothills in spring for the grasses there, drive them back to the ranch houses in the winter and hope to make it through with whatever hay they could gather.

It may seem hard to believe but cattle could usually find enough to eat given enough miles to cover. While the flats around a place like Tucson (where a lot of the 1950s Westerns were shot) were pretty barren, closer to the mountains grass was widespread.

That said, it's a desert. Alan Le May's novel of The Searchers makes it clear that the ranches there were failing as well.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostMon Apr 27, 2015 8:15 am

Interesting, that it was at least attempted. To a midwesterner used to grassland, it looks as plausible as fishing for bluefin tuna here.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostMon Apr 27, 2015 8:29 am

entredeuxguerres wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:I suspend disbelief when watching ANY PICTURE...


One must, of course, and within reasonable limits, it's an adjustment the mind makes subconsciously; but, at some point varying with the individual, the cognitive dissonance generated by ignoring gross improbabilities begins to obtrude into consciousness. The unceasing relentlessness of the wind, & even more so, that blizzard of sand pelting the windows of the train & everything else, exceeded, after a while, my personal capacity for suspending disbelief that these were more or less ordinary conditions (as Monty generously explained to sweet Lillian on the train) in this level of Dante's Inferno.


I agree. Watching the film for about the fourth time recently, I just could no longer get over the question: "Why the hell would anyone even attempt to settle down and build a home and raise cattle in the middle of a nonstop, eternal sandstorm?"

Not to mention: where the hell would they have gotten the wood to build the dwellings and the rail fences?

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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostMon Apr 27, 2015 8:50 am

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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostMon Apr 27, 2015 11:32 am

Dust storms like that are not uncommon in the Texas panhandle region today. They happen a few times a year, not constantly as implied in the movie.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostMon Apr 27, 2015 12:15 pm

Jim Roots wrote:
I agree. Watching the film for about the fourth time recently, I just could no longer get over the question: "Why the hell would anyone even attempt to settle down and build a home and raise cattle in the middle of a nonstop, eternal sandstorm?"

Not to mention: where the hell would they have gotten the wood to build the dwellings and the rail fences?

Jim


It's been a while since I've seen The Wind, but I always assumed that Miss Lillian's experience of the wind was heightened to a super-reality by her solitude and loneliness.

Generally speaking, homesteaders bought their land without seeing it and most of them had little idea of what they were getting into...if they knew anything about farming in the first place. That is a weird trope in movies, "let's give up this shallow urban rat race and buy a farm and live the good life in harmony with nature!" (Are you nuts?) Even experienced farmers often assumed they could use small farm methods that worked in Ye Olde Country or on the east coast and which emphatically didn't on the Plains (or in California). Quite a few homesteaders ended up selling their land very quickly to larger landowners. Like my great-grandfather.

You bought the wood from people like my grandfather, who was an experienced lumberman. In Nebraska. (Ski Nebraska!)
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostMon Apr 27, 2015 3:02 pm

silentfilm wrote:Dust storms like that are not uncommon in the Texas panhandle region today. They happen a few times a year, not constantly as implied in the movie.


I checked out the novel from the library (I have to read it after seeing the movie). Glancing through it, I can see that the grass is dead, sand is everywhere, and the wind is ceaseless, but varies enough that it's not always blowing a sand storm. Nevertheless, I am inclined to go along with Sjostrom's and Frances Marion's expedient exaggeration, because in a silent movie you've got to tell a story with images and, unlike in a novel, you don't have a lot of time to tell it.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostThu Apr 30, 2015 1:14 pm

I was out of town and DVR'd the film -- how'd it look? Has it been cleaned up at all?
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostThu Apr 30, 2015 2:28 pm

Frederica wrote:
It's been a while since I've seen The Wind, but I always assumed that Miss Lillian's experience of the wind was heightened to a super-reality by her solitude and loneliness.


That's exactly how I saw this and it's been awhile since I've seen this.
Letty's run into hard times when her loving cousin invites her to come stay with his family, apparently unbeknownst to his wife. Hostility is everywhere and her dream quickly turns into a lonely nightmare. Her only way out turned out even worse since the man only wanted to have his way with another innocent woman. It truly is a nightmare.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostThu Apr 30, 2015 3:44 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:I love The Searchers, but it has the same problem: putting a cattle ranch in the deserts of New Mexico is about as historically logical as setting Moby Dick on the Mississippi. I'd love to know what the cattle fed on, saguaro cactus? Rattlesnake skins?


Actually, the part of eastern New Mexico/west Texas where The Searchers is set is a vast grassland area. Even in Monument Valley, where The Searchers was shot (but not set)'the Navajos have always had massive cattle herds to the point were over-grazing is now an issue. That part of northern Arizona / New Mexico / Utah is a high plains area that has grassy valleys when it gets rain.

Sidebar: In Roswell, NM (near where much of the action in The Searchers takes place) is a Le Prino cheese plant (they supply all the cheese for Pizza Hut pizzas, etc). It is the largest cheese plant in the world. When I asked them why they chose Roswell, NM for such a large cheese plant, they told me that for some reason, milk production per cow is higher in Roswell than anywhere else in the U.S. They don't know why, it just is. True story.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostThu Apr 30, 2015 4:04 pm

azjazzman wrote:Actually, the part of eastern New Mexico/west Texas where The Searchers is set is a vast grassland area. Even in Monument Valley, where The Searchers was shot (but not set)'the Navajos have always had massive cattle herds to the point were over-grazing is now an issue...


Not at all what I saw in Monument Valley...which was bare red dirt sparsely vegetated by tough, hardy shrubs that only goats would consume, & goats were the ONLY livestock I saw. In West Texas, which I know well, ranches commonly run many thousands of acres in size, because it takes scores of acres to provide enough grass to sustain a single steer.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostThu Apr 30, 2015 4:05 pm

Sidebar: In Roswell, NM (near where much of the action in The Searchers takes place) is a Le Prino cheese plant (they supply all the cheese for Pizza Hut pizzas, etc). It is the largest cheese plant in the world. When I asked them why they chose Roswell, NM for such a large cheese plant, they told me that for some reason, milk production per cow is higher in Roswell than anywhere else in the U.S. They don't know why, it just is. True story.


Must be something to do with the little green men from Mars who land their flying saucers there? :D
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostThu Apr 30, 2015 6:05 pm

Donald Binks wrote:
Sidebar: In Roswell, NM (near where much of the action in The Searchers takes place) is a Le Prino cheese plant (they supply all the cheese for Pizza Hut pizzas, etc). It is the largest cheese plant in the world. When I asked them why they chose Roswell, NM for such a large cheese plant, they told me that for some reason, milk production per cow is higher in Roswell than anywhere else in the U.S. They don't know why, it just is. True story.


Must be something to do with the little green men from Mars who land their flying saucers there? :D


Heard many jokes along those lines there, including one about the cows glowing in the dark.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostThu Apr 30, 2015 6:18 pm

azjazzman wrote:Surely you jest. West Texas has historically been cattle country for the past 150 years....


Never said it wasn't...only that ranches have to be huge, the land counted in sections, not acres, because it's such a poor grassland. The Monument Valley photo illustrates very well the quality of its pasturage--only desperate people would run cattle on such a desiccated range.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostThu May 03, 2018 2:23 pm

Mitch Farish wrote:
azjazzman wrote:
Jim Reid wrote:Warner may own broadcast rights to those scores but they may not own the rights to release them on DVD. Plus, when's the last time Warners released a box set of any classic films? Not sure that animal exists anymore.


THE WIND, GREED, STUDENT PRINCE and THE CROWD all were released on VHS and LaserDisc with Carl Davis scores, so it is hard for me to believe that there would be any significant hurdles relative to licensing the scores for DVD.

From what I have gleaned from various comments from George Feltenstein, the real hang-up in releasing these titles is the need for them to be remastered. All of them were mastered in the early 1980s and they simply are not be up to snuff for a DVD release. If you have ever seen STUDENT PRINCE IN OLD HEIDELBERG in a 35mm presentation, you understand how inadequate the 1980s video transfer is. It is like a Xerox of a Cezanne.

Remastering is fairly expensive. George F. really walks a tight rope in making sure he keeps Warner Archive in the black overall so he can maintain funding for current and future projects. That is why it was so important for THE BIG PARADE to do well. It would give him the impetus get things like remasteing THE WIND and THE CROWD in the budget. Unfortunately, from what I understand, sales on PARADE were nothing to write home about.

It's not that Warners doesn't do box sets of classic films....they do them all the time. The Bowery Boys, Monogram Westerns, Early Gangster films and the very recent Musicals box sets are just a few recent examples.


I had no idea remastering was so costly, and The Wind sorely needs remastering. But from what you said about The Big Parade, the larger problem is that there isn't much demand for silents on disc. I hear all the time from people you think would jump at the opportunity to buy hi-def versions of silent film, who watch silents on YouTube, and the diminution in quality is no issue for them at all. A real shame. No wonder Kino seems to have thrown in the towel.

As for believing Annie Laurie had a synchronized score, I mistakenly thought it was released in 1928, not 1927. Sorry about that, Jeff.


I sincerely hope the market (demand for silent film) has changed for the better in the several years since this discussion despite the poor sales of "The Big Parade." There have continued to be silent films released in HD by Kino and Flicker Alley in recent years featuring major stars of the silent era, such as Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Douglas Fairbanks, and Gloria Swanson, with the yearly output seemingly increasing, even if those titles are not among those perhaps most sought after such as those above. While a DVD release would be lovely, I think they all need the HD treatment like "Wings" and "The Big Parade." Perhaps some major announcement may happen in the near future concerning one of these if the stars are aligned and funding is possible for such efforts?
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostFri May 04, 2018 12:44 pm

Jim Reid wrote:I sincerely hope the market (demand for silent film) has changed for the better in the several years since this discussion despite the poor sales of "The Big Parade." There have continued to be silent films released in HD by Kino and Flicker Alley in recent years featuring major stars of the silent era, such as Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Douglas Fairbanks, and Gloria Swanson, with the yearly output seemingly increasing, even if those titles are not among those perhaps most sought after such as those above. While a DVD release would be lovely, I think they all need the HD treatment like "Wings" and "The Big Parade." Perhaps some major announcement may happen in the near future concerning one of these if the stars are aligned and funding is possible for such efforts?


I'm holding out hope for the other MGM silents just based on Warners beginning to license out classic films to the Criterion Collection the last couple of years, which has released Blu-Rays of The Philadelphia Story, Woman of the Year, Mildred Pierce and a few others. It doesn't make sense anymore for Warners to hold onto Greed when it's going into the public domain in 2020. Why not make some money from it NOW from licensing like Paramount has done by licensing its silent films to Kino? That's looking awfully smart now that Zaza and The Covered Wagon go into the public domain eight months from now.

It would make sense for Warners to license the silent films out now while they can.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostFri May 04, 2018 1:28 pm

buskeat wrote: It doesn't make sense anymore for Warners to hold onto Greed when it's going into the public domain in 2020.
It would make sense for Warners to license the silent films out now while they can.


Judging from the recent broadcast on TCM, Turner Classic Movies apparently owns the rights to the four hour long, reconstructed "Greed," made only a relatively short while ago.
Who would want to buy the two hour, 15 minute theatrical release?
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostFri May 04, 2018 3:28 pm

Big Silent Fan wrote:
buskeat wrote: It doesn't make sense anymore for Warners to hold onto Greed when it's going into the public domain in 2020.
It would make sense for Warners to license the silent films out now while they can.


Judging from the recent broadcast on TCM, Turner Classic Movies apparently owns the rights to the four hour long, reconstructed "Greed," made only a relatively short while ago.
Who would want to buy the two hour, 15 minute theatrical release?


Me. Ideally, a definitive release would include both cuts. I myself would appreciate a restoration of TCM's reconstructed "Greed" in HD and the theatrical release in HD together on two discs. Personally, while there is incalculable value associated with the reconstruction, it makes the viewing experience a real chore to get through as opposed to the near-definitive reconstructed "Metropolis" in which the photos and title cards are not laborious and too time-consuming. I actually find the theatrical release to still be remarkable and perhaps more immediate and effective than the four-hour reconstruction. Nonetheless, since these are the only two we have to work with, having both rather than one makes the most sense to me. Whether there are rights issues associated with one or the other is beyond me. In any case, someone should get the ball rolling. I'm sure "Greed" would attract a lot of interest just as the restored "Napoleon" did (while also awaiting its North American release).
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostFri May 04, 2018 4:01 pm

Big Silent Fan wrote:
buskeat wrote: It doesn't make sense anymore for Warners to hold onto Greed when it's going into the public domain in 2020.
It would make sense for Warners to license the silent films out now while they can.


Judging from the recent broadcast on TCM, Turner Classic Movies apparently owns the rights to the four hour long, reconstructed "Greed," made only a relatively short while ago.
Who would want to buy the two hour, 15 minute theatrical release?


Well, I would for one.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostSat May 05, 2018 4:45 pm

I would gladly purchase a new HD transfer of the theatrical version of GREED if it were released.

I have to admit, I'm always baffled by the disinterest toward the theatrical cut of GREED whenever I encounter it. While I'm glad we have the reconstruction with stills to give an idea of what the four-hour version would have looked like, the 1924 theatrical version is still a film that has been praised by critics and historians, and influenced filmmakers, ever since its release. Do I wish we could see the film as Stroheim originally intended? Of course. But even what remains is, like Welles' THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, still one of the great films to me.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostTue May 08, 2018 8:41 am

Big Silent Fan wrote:
buskeat wrote: It doesn't make sense anymore for Warners to hold onto Greed when it's going into the public domain in 2020.
It would make sense for Warners to license the silent films out now while they can.


Judging from the recent broadcast on TCM, Turner Classic Movies apparently owns the rights to the four hour long, reconstructed "Greed," made only a relatively short while ago.
Who would want to buy the two hour, 15 minute theatrical release?


I would. I much prefer the two and a quarter hour version, as incomplete as it so clearly is. The stop-and-go factor of that "restoration" makes it just plain unwatchable for me.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostTue May 08, 2018 1:00 pm

Big Silent Fan wrote:
buskeat wrote: It doesn't make sense anymore for Warners to hold onto Greed when it's going into the public domain in 2020.
It would make sense for Warners to license the silent films out now while they can.


Judging from the recent broadcast on TCM, Turner Classic Movies apparently owns the rights to the four hour long, reconstructed "Greed," made only a relatively short while ago.
Who would want to buy the two hour, 15 minute theatrical release?


I absolutely would. I have fond memories of the Carl Davis-scored version from the '80s VHS release. I find the reconstruction historically fascinating and important but for me, as more of a slideshow than movie it's bereft of any entertainment value. The ideal Blu-Ray release would include both.
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostTue May 08, 2018 1:19 pm

buskeat wrote:
Big Silent Fan wrote:
buskeat wrote: It doesn't make sense anymore for Warners to hold onto Greed when it's going into the public domain in 2020.
It would make sense for Warners to license the silent films out now while they can.


Judging from the recent broadcast on TCM, Turner Classic Movies apparently owns the rights to the four hour long, reconstructed "Greed," made only a relatively short while ago.
Who would want to buy the two hour, 15 minute theatrical release?


I absolutely would. I have fond memories of the Carl Davis-scored version from the '80s VHS release. I find the reconstruction historically fascinating and important but for me, as more of a slideshow than movie it's bereft of any entertainment value. The ideal Blu-Ray release would include both.


I honestly used to think only a few preferred the theatrical version, myself included. I know there are always purists that believe only the original conception as conceived by the artist is valid (or whatever word to substitute for valid), but the theatrical version has that flow and focus on the main story that makes it an enthralling viewing experience, whereas the 4-hour reconstruction is, as has been stated, a chore to sit through, albeit with fascination, while still lamenting what's lost. In other words, if footage actually survived for what all the photographs and title cards stand in for, chances are it would enhance and justify the length, but over an hour of those things makes a viewing feel akin to watching a scientific experiment in a lecture hall, with a lot of miscellany. So much is lost without the actual footage to grip you, as interesting as the photographs are, especially in an intense drama like this. In any case, in 6 years, it should hopefully have a real chance at restoration and release. :P
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Re: THE WIND (1928) on TCM's THE ESSENTIALS this year?

PostWed May 09, 2018 10:13 am

I haven't seen the 4 hour reconstruction of Greed and I'm not sure that I want to. I sat though La Roue and thought it would have been a far better film if trimmed to around 2 hours.
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