Martin Scorsese had wanted to make Gangs of New York for years. It was an eagerly awaited film which originally was supposed to come out in the fall of 2001. Then there were stories on the friction between Scorsese and Miramax head Harvey Weinstein over budget and running time. It finally came out last December toi a mostly cool reception (you can read blogcritics reviews here, here, and here).
Jeffrey Wells wrote that a tape he saw of a 20 minute longer work print was much better though Scrosese said during interview on Fresh Air that there was no director’s cut. The released version was the way he wanted it.
Scrosese is producing (and directing one episode) a series on the Blues which begins airing on PBS the end of September.
DVDFile: “The screen-specific audio commentary from Martin Scorsese was the real source of interest for me, as my entire emotional reaction to the film was largely predicated on why Scorsese wanted to make this particular labor of love in the first place, as well as its tumultuous journey to the screen. And while Scorsese makes for a wonderful guide through the rigors of production, those expecting lots of grist will be disappointed. Everything seems peachy-keen and surprisingly sedate. Scorsese’s enthusiasm shines through, don’t get me wrong, but it seems like many of the much-buzzed about controversies that held up the film for so long are glossed over in favor of explanations of historical and dramatic motivations. Scorsese is a great commentator – to listen to this commentary even without watching the film first is worthy of a rental – but I can’t help but think it may have been toned down.”
If you rent it from a place like Netflix or Greencine, the film is split over 2 DVDs.