TCM's Reconstruction of "GREED" News and Rumors

Ted Turner owns the copyright to the MGM vault and the classic silent movie GREED. In 1924 Von Stroheim edited his film to four hours, but MGM released a two-hour version. Turner Classic Movies is now reassembling the "lost" scenes and sequences for a planned December 1999 TCM premier, on the film's 75th Anniversary. TCM will insert production stills in the proper places according to the "final shooting script," dated March 30, 1923, which is a later version than the published one and perhaps closer to Von Stroheim's intention. Narration from the original Frank Norris text of "McTeague" will dramatize the story and be underscored by an additional music score.

The reconstruction of "Greed" will follow the color tinting scheme indicated by Von Stroheim in the March 1923 shooting script. That script also called for the use of the Handschiegl Process to achieve an effect similar to the earlier hand or stencil-color processes. Von Stroheim was one of the first important directors to use 2-color Technicolor and also incorporated complex tinting, toning and coloring systems when possible. Except for the "Wedding March" technicolor sequence, original color Stroheim material is not included in current show prints, though both "Greed" and "The Merry Widow" did originally include Handschiegl process sequences on release. The relevant sequences in "Greed" will be reconstructed using newly discovered Handschiegl process test frames which show the golden color applied to objects like gold nuggets and Mac's giant golden tooth. LA WEEKLY carried an article about the restoration project and you can read it on line at

HOWEVER, the following production stills are still missing and the reconstruction team is looking for them. If you or someone you know has any of them or has access to any of them, please drop me a line and I'll forward it to team. The prefix is 179, and the individual numbers are: 17, 96, 119, 126, 128, 154, 194, 219, 220, 227, 228, 229, 232, 234, 266, 300, 301, 302, 351, 353, 354, 356, 358, 391, 392, 415, 416, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 429, 430, 431, 465, 470, 471, 479, 519, 521, 527, 528, 535, 549, 631, 632, 633, and anything 657 or over. If you believe you have some knowledge of the stills that may be of benefit to the reconstruction team, please send a post to Mike Mills (

Note: Turner's "Greed" project will include a weekend of Von Stroheim films, including "The Man You Loved to Hate," a documentary look at the man and his career.

More resources on Greed:

[Home] [News & Notes] [The Features Page] [The Store] [At the Movies]
[The Calendar] [Silent Era Facts] [Silent Star of the Month]