Herman G. Weinberg

Number 1: This the first in a series exploring those who write about the cinema.  Many of these also do much more than “just write.”

Herman G. Weinberg and Fritz Lang in Montreal in 1967

Herman G. Weinberg and Fritz Lang in Montreal in 1967

On a visit to New York late last Summer, I found Herman G. Weinberg’s memoir A Manhattan Odyssey.  It was published in 1982 by NY’s Anthology Film Archives.   I read it on the way home and enjoyed it.

I’m familiar with his old experimental film Autumn Fire

Then there’s the case of the classic silent films Greed and The Wedding March.  Both films were directed by Erich Von Stroheim.  

They were both released in forms distant from what he’d intended.  He’d filmed more footage than the studio wanted to release so they ended up being butchered and reduced.

Weinberg assembled two books trying to reconstruct these films in book form.  He’d got ahold of a lot of stills and utilized them in giving a sense of the lost scenes.  It provided a picture of what these films could have been.

I’ve seen these films in their existing states.  I’ve also carefully studied these books.  They’re among the first film books to enter my library.

I’ve read The Lubitsch Touch, his study of film director Ernst Lubitsch. 

He has two other books out that I’d like to find.  One’s on Josef Von Sternberg.  The other’s called Saint Cinema: Selected Writings 1929-1970.

his early 1930’s experimental film:

http://www.jonasmekas.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=442&Category_Code=UnCin&Product_Count=0

http://visionary-film.blogspot.com/2008/12/herman-g-weinberg-autumn-fire-film-poem.html

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4 Responses to “Herman G. Weinberg”

  1. marty Says:

    In about 1972 or 73 I took a course at CCNY with Herman Weinberg. After seeing Chaplan’s Modern Times I commented in class that Woody Allen was like our modern day Charlie Chaplan. It was if I committed a mortal sin. He was not happy with that comparison. Turns out I was correct.

  2. Metro Detroit Classic Movie Fan — Maurice Greenia, Jr. | Paula's Cinema Club Says:

    […] it could it be re-made as a mini-series? I have the book that has stills from all the cut scenes, The Complete Greed by Herman Weinberg. You can piece together what it might have been. He also did a similar book of another cut up Von […]

  3. artremedy20 Says:

    Hi, Yes I hope do more blog posts here this year. I spend more time working on my UDM archival site, my artwork, my live performances and my other blogs. I did update my post on Roger Ebert, when he died.

    I have both those Weinberg books, recreations of GREED and of THE WEDDING MARCH. I also have another book of his writings. I’ve been into the films of Frank Borzage, and of Fritz Lang and other German film directors.

    As for GREED, it could work as a mini series, but it’d be expensive. Then you’d need a special cast and director to even TOUCH any of the magic of the original…..

  4. A Recent Interview (on Movies and the Detroit Film Theatre) | Cinema, Movies and Motion Pictures Says:

    […] piece together what it might have been.  I have the book that has stills from all the cut scenes, The Complete Greed by Herman Weinberg. He also did a similar book of another cut up Von Stroheim film, The Complete Wedding […]

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