The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

G   |    |  Biography, Drama, History

The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) Poster

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  • John Wayne and Sidney Poitier in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
  • John Wayne and Max von Sydow in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
  • Charlton Heston in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
  • Max von Sydow in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
  • Max von Sydow in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
  • Dorothy McGuire in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

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18 September 2000 | harry-76
| A Letter from George Stevens, Jr.
On 9/18/00 I received a letter from George Stevens, Jr., replying to my earlier letter to him encouraging his support of his father's four-hour, "uncut," version of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" preparing for dvd. I had suggested in my letter that the original version was undoubtedly his father's artistic vision and thus was the one worthy of preservation for dvd.

Stevens, Jr. responded, in part, " . . . the dvd of 'The Greatest Story Even Told' is underway and MGM-UA has found the original negative of the four-hour version of the film.

There has been a good deal of confusion about the 'official' version of 'The Greatest Story Ever Told.' In recent years I became satisfied that the 3 hour and 20 minute version was the one that my father considered his picture. That came as a result of conversations with Toni Vellani, who worked with my father and has since passed on, and others.

My father, according to Toni, rushed the film for its first two premieres and immediately, at his own initiative, started trimming it to the 3:15 version. He was pleased with this cut. . . .

There was a later shorter version that my father authorized UA to make in an effort to recoup some money -- and that version which ran under 3 hours is of no value at all.

Frankly, I will be interested to see what the additional 40 minutes represents in the long version because, over the years, I've been familiar with the version that runs approximately 3:15. . . ."

This generous explanation from Mr. Stevens, Jr. certainly reveals the intracacies of the purely artistic process as balanced with the business aspect. It also makes one aware that the assumption that the "cut" version was not the preference or the adequate representation of the director, may be inaccurate. In any event at this point, the four-hour dvd version of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" is most eagerly awaited.

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Plot Summary


Biography | Drama | History

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