The Wind (28)

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Michael O'Regan

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The Wind (28)

PostSat Feb 25, 2017 4:59 am

I watched the Photoplay version the other night. Has the film ever had a release with the original ending? I know Thalberg didn't like it but not absolutely certain if it had had a limited release? Or, previewed with the original ending?
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Saint-Just

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSat Feb 25, 2017 9:57 am

There was probably never any other ending than what now exists.
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dalefullerfan2014

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSat Feb 25, 2017 12:37 pm

I believe the director,Victor Seastrom wanted a bleaker ending and might have filmed one but I don't think it ever got a release. I saw it once at The Pacific Film Archive with it' original music track. The music track was horrible. Thank goodness Carl Davis scored it for it's home market release.
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Christopher Jacobs

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSat Feb 25, 2017 2:28 pm

Judging from its review, Photoplay Magazine apparently saw THE WIND with its original bleaker ending, perhaps at a trade screening, sneak preview, or test-market release. Their review was published in late 1927, close to a year before the official release of the film.
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Michael O'Regan

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSat Feb 25, 2017 3:10 pm

Christopher Jacobs wrote:Judging from its review, Photoplay Magazine apparently saw THE WIND with its original bleaker ending, perhaps at a trade screening, sneak preview, or test-market release. Their review was published in late 1927, close to a year before the official release of the film.

Ah! Interesting. Thanks.
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mwalls

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSat Feb 25, 2017 4:21 pm

I have read people argue both sides as to whether an unhappy ending was or was not filmed. This is the first I have heard about a Photoplay article. Is this article by chance available on-line?

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FrankFay

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSat Feb 25, 2017 7:41 pm

I'd like to hear the soundtrack they slapped on it- though I hear tell it is dreadful
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Battra92

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSat Feb 25, 2017 8:17 pm

I think the bleaker version would've been great but I still love the film as is. I know it's saying something but I think it's Victor Sjöström's best film (at least that I've seen) and that includes The Phantom Carriage which was also excellent.
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CoffeeDan

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSun Feb 26, 2017 12:41 am

Fritzi Kramer wrote an extensive debunking of the movie legends surrounding THE WIND at her website, Movies Silently. Apparently, the "tragic" ending was never filmed:
The evidence against the accepted narrative comes in two forms. First, we have the internal documents from MGM. The tragic ending was not included in any of the shooting scripts, while the happy ending was there from the beginning. There were some retakes a month after production wrapped (a reasonably common occurrence) but they were to change minor aspects of the already-filmed happy ending, specifically to remove a comedy sidekick from the romantic reunion of the main characters.

I should mention, though, that MGM did have major reservations about The Wind. They shelved it for an entire year and then dumped it in late 1928, when talkies were an unstoppable force.
Last edited by CoffeeDan on Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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CoffeeDan

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSun Feb 26, 2017 3:00 am

BTW, I also read the review of THE WIND in the November 1927 issue of Photoplay, and I don't see any mention of an alternative ending to the film, other than what we're already familiar with. Am I missing something? Here's the link.
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Michael O'Regan

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSun Feb 26, 2017 4:51 am

In the interview with Lilian Gish, which precedes my version, she says that when they had finished they thought they had a great picture but the exhibitors said "no" to the unhappy ending, forcing them to, in her words, "tack on" a happy ending. This, to me, suggested that perhaps a version with the bleaker ending had existed and been seen by someone.
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSun Feb 26, 2017 11:50 am

re: Lillian Gish - consider the source.
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSun Feb 26, 2017 2:28 pm

Saint-Just wrote:re: Lillian Gish - consider the source.


Her interviews were not known for being completely accurate
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSun Feb 26, 2017 10:52 pm

The one MGM musical track that really works for me is "A Woman of Affairs" Like other MGM musical tracks I've heard there's a song that's sung at the end of the film. The music throughout fits the film which it doesn't at all for "The Wind" which doesn't work in any sense.
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostMon Feb 27, 2017 10:15 am

I like the original WILD ORCHIDS track, which I believe also contains some singing.
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dalefullerfan2014

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostMon Feb 27, 2017 1:51 pm

Come to think of it the reel of the otherwise lost "The Divine Woman" also directed by Seastrom(aka Sjostrom) with it's original music track is also quite nice. The reel and music can be heard on youtube. The reel is very moving.
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dalefullerfan2014

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostMon Feb 27, 2017 1:53 pm

You can also hear some of the original music track from "A Woman Of Affairs" on youtube. I've seen the archival 35mm vault print of this three times now at The PFA and the music is as good as this clip.
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Christopher Jacobs

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostMon Feb 27, 2017 3:06 pm

CoffeeDan wrote:BTW, I also read the review of THE WIND in the November 1927 issue of Photoplay, and I don't see any mention of an alternative ending to the film, other than what we're already familiar with. Am I missing something? Here's the link.


I re-read that and you're right. There's no mention or implication of the tragic ending. It might have been some other magazine or trade journal I was recalling, or possibly a letter to the editor, as I'm sure I remember reading something to the effect in a 1927 or 28 publication that it was too bad this version of the film would never be seen in theatres. I did notice after a quick scan of the January 1928 through June 1929 issues, that Photoplay no longer listed its capsule summary of THE WIND after only a few months instead of its usual six months, and no mention later other than an MGM ad for its 1928-29 movie season, not even a repeat review or capsule after the film's official release. Maybe I was just mis-remembering Lillian Gish's comments.
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostTue Feb 28, 2017 9:20 am

I can't solve the riddle of the existence of the second ending, but I do share Gish's opinion that the ending in the source novel is unforgettable. What we have now is sweepingly ridiculous -- Gish is suddenly free of all her fears and rushes to her husband...isn't the intertitle something like, "I'm not afraid of the wind anymore!!" It took me years to track down a copy of the novel -- which I've since sold to make room for more, more, more indispensable books...I believe it's by Dorothy Scarborough, who was a native of Sweetwater, Texas (again, I'm stating this from seldom-activated memory cells), and it is a good read. Her descriptions of grit seeping through the walls of the house will stick with you. In the final pages, her heroine loses her mind and runs out into the sandstorm, her mind as chaotic as the wind. That ending would not have sold bushels of tickets in '28. but didn't the film lay an egg anyway? Considering the way-out stuff that was allowed in Lon Chaney's films, one wishes Thalberg would've said, let's make this one daring and different, even if we don't make a forturne on it. More than likely, MGM was soured on Gish by this point and wasn't looking at prestige value from her work.
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Rick Lanham

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostTue Feb 28, 2017 11:04 am

Dave Pitts wrote:… In the final pages, her heroine loses her mind and runs out into the sandstorm, her mind as chaotic as the wind.


… Thus setting up the sequels: Daughter of the Wind, Daughter of the Wind 2…

Rick
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostTue Feb 28, 2017 5:01 pm

I agree that the ending as filmed is ridiculous, and it looks to me as if Gish and Hanson are way overplaying, almost as a satire or parody, a burlesque of 'happy' endings.
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostThu Mar 02, 2017 7:23 am

Image

Montague Love and Lillian Gish
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSat Mar 04, 2017 8:58 am

I've always appreciated the name of the villain in this movie -- Wirt Roddy! -- played by Montague Love.

P.S. Come to think of it, "Montague Love" is a pretty cool name, too.
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostSun Mar 05, 2017 2:39 am

Montague Love.

He wasn't in it. His brother Montagu Love was!!!
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 7:22 am

I wonder what the cultural reason is for requiring a Happy Ending in the majority of stories here in America. Shakespeare had no issue with tragedy and neither did the Greeks. The Russians seem to have made it their style. European silents are filled with tragedies and ambiguous endings. Sjöström himself was no stranger to them (The Outlaw and His Wife is particularly bleak) so I can see why he was so frustrated at the tacked on ending.

On a side note, my daughter has recently become quite obsessed with A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Its ending (like most of Charlie Brown's life) is left on a note of failure. Charlie Brown works hard, tries his best and it's not good enough. He doesn't succeed and remains at the end of the film pretty much where we found him at the beginning: a failure. I can't think of another film aimed at children outside of a Japanese anime adaptation of The Little Mermaid that doesn't have a happy ending (because it actually follows the book.)

It's not that I like tragedy or have some sort of schadenfreude with regards to seeing characters fail but I find it refreshing when an ending can be more realistic to how complex the world really is. Not everything has to be Frank Capra.
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Wm. Charles Morrow

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 9:55 am

moviepas wrote:Montague Love.

He wasn't in it. His brother Montagu Love was!!!


For what it's worth I'm now at the Performing Arts Library, where I just flipped through the file on Mr. Love. In various clippings and playbills the spelling of his first name switched back and forth from "Montagu" to "Montague," more or less at random. (He seems to have favored Montagu for his movie appearances.) I suppose someone will have to chase down his birth certificate to discover his actual, given name.

P.S. Meanwhile, I can't find any explanation anywhere for the name "Wirt Roddy."
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Mike Gebert

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostMon Mar 06, 2017 10:33 am

It's what we call a Ferber, a rugged-sounding western name that has no relationship to any known language.
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostTue Mar 07, 2017 10:36 am

Battra92 wrote:I wonder what the cultural reason is for requiring a Happy Ending in the majority of stories here in America. Shakespeare had no issue with tragedy and neither did the Greeks. The Russians seem to have made it their style. European silents are filled with tragedies and ambiguous endings. Sjöström himself was no stranger to them (The Outlaw and His Wife is particularly bleak) so I can see why he was so frustrated at the tacked on ending.

On a side note, my daughter has recently become quite obsessed with A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Its ending (like most of Charlie Brown's life) is left on a note of failure. Charlie Brown works hard, tries his best and it's not good enough. He doesn't succeed and remains at the end of the film pretty much where we found him at the beginning: a failure. I can't think of another film aimed at children outside of a Japanese anime adaptation of The Little Mermaid that doesn't have a happy ending (because it actually follows the book.)

It's not that I like tragedy or have some sort of schadenfreude with regards to seeing characters fail but I find it refreshing when an ending can be more realistic to how complex the world really is. Not everything has to be Frank Capra.


Good post.

I'd guess that most people in America go to a show mainly to distract themselves for a few precious moments from the challenges and disappointments of their daily life. "Happy" distracts and gives hope; "sad" reminds them on some level of their own realities. Not everyone reaches that plateau at which they want enrichment rather than distraction and appreciate that both happy and sad, both fictional and true, increase understanding and enrich life. I personally think that it's very important that children grow up with stories having endings sad as well as happy. We train kids for fifteen years to expect happy happy happy, then they enter into real life which isn't that way at all. The consequence is that they're unprepared and feel cheated.
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Re: The Wind (28)

PostTue Mar 07, 2017 10:51 am

Mike Gebert wrote:It's what we call a Ferber, a rugged-sounding western name that has no relationship to any known language.


Ala many of Big Bill Hart's character names from the same era!
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Christopher Jacobs

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Re: The Wind (28)

PostTue Mar 07, 2017 9:03 pm

Wm. Charles Morrow wrote:
moviepas wrote:Montague Love.

He wasn't in it. His brother Montagu Love was!!!


For what it's worth I'm now at the Performing Arts Library, where I just flipped through the file on Mr. Love. In various clippings and playbills the spelling of his first name switched back and forth from "Montagu" to "Montague," more or less at random. (He seems to have favored Montagu for his movie appearances.) I suppose someone will have to chase down his birth certificate to discover his actual, given name.

P.S. Meanwhile, I can't find any explanation anywhere for the name "Wirt Roddy."


"Wirt" is also the German word for "landlord," and I suppose it's possible it could be used as a proper name. "Roddy" perhaps is a diminutive of "Rodney" or alternate spelling intended to suggest "Ruddy."
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