Would the crowd at Cannes have liked Inglourious Basterds better if it had been shorter? That seems to be the gamble that the Weinstein Company is taking, as they demand that Tarantino cut 40 minutes from his World War II opus, according to The Wrap. We wrote yesterday about the desperate financial straits the Weinsteins have found themselves in, and how much they're counting on Basterds to be a box office hit. Will trimming the 2 hour, 40 minute running time do it?

Yeah, probably. No one likes sitting through a bloated running time like that unless they're being promised something great, and all signs currently point to Basterds being interesting but unspectacular. I haven't seen the movie yet, so I have no idea if there are 40 minutes that can be trimmed, or whether or not that will make it a better movie. But we all know Tarantino has a tendency to go over hte top, so maybe a shorter running time really will serve him better. Plus there's the basic math of a shorter movie having more screenings on a daily basis ,and therefore more opportunities to sell tickets.

If this rumor is true, I'm sure Tarantino is kicking and screaming in an editing bay somewhere. But I just have a feeling this might wind up better for all of us, and especially those poor cash-strapped Weinsteins.

UPDATE: Our friends at The Playlist have actually seen the film, and already wrote a list of 8 Ways To Fix Inglourious Basterds. Granted, most of their (admittedly cheeky) ideas involve time travel. But they're convinced that cutting 40 minutes out of the movie will be nearly impossible. "While Basterds is meh, the script is sorta jenga. Taking 40 minutes of it would kill it and make it incomprehensible. Any other Cannes attendees out there care to agree or disagree? We need your expertise.

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