How do we understand faith and prayer, and what of miracles? August 1925 on a Danish farm. Patriarch Borgen has three sons: Mikkel, a good-hearted agnostic whose wife Inger is pregnant, ... See full summary »
Carl Theodor Dreyer
Emil Hass Christensen,
Preben Lerdorff Rye
This study of Cuba--partially written by renowned poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko--captures the island just before it made the transition to a post-revolutionary society. Moving from city to ... See full summary »
An elder ronin samurai arrives at a feudal lord's home and requests an honorable place to commit suicide. But when the ronin inquires about a younger samurai who arrived before him things take an unexpected turn.
Apu is a jobless former student dreaming vaguely of a future as a writer. An old college friend talks him into a visit up-country to a village wedding. This changes his life, for when the ... See full summary »
John McTeague was a simple slow man who became a dentist after working at the Big Dipper Gold Mine. He is now being hunted in Death Valley by his ex-best friend Marcus and the law. His lot was cast the day that he meet his future wife Trina in his office. She was with Marcus and she bought a lottery ticket. Well Mac fell for her and Marcus stepped aside. When Mac and Trina married, she won the Lottery for $5000 and became obsessive about the money in gold. Marcus is steamed as he stepped aside and now she is rich so he has the law shut down Mac as he has no official schooling for his dentistry. Trina fearful that they will take her gold away sells everything and takes all Mac earns when he is working. She adds to her stash of gold as they both live as paupers. When Mac has no job and no money, he leaves and Trina moves. Driven to desperation at being poor and hungry he finds Trina and demands the gold. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Erich von Stroheim:
as a balloon vendor (although only in a deleted sequence). McTeague and Trina buy balloons from the vendor on the street. See more »
After Marcus breaks McTeague's pipe and throws a knife at him, men pull McTeague's tie off as they hold him back. The tie is back in place a moment later as McTeague rushes out of the saloon. See more »
[Prologue title card]
I never truckled; I never took off the hat to Fashion and held it out for pennies. By God, I told them the truth. They liked it or they didn't like it. What had that to do with me? I told them the truth; I knew it for the truth then, and I know it for the truth now. FRANK NORRIS.
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There was a time, and it was only a few years ago, when I found it difficult to sit through a silent film. The exaggerated movements and facial expressions and the over-bearing music, I believe, turned me off.
However, that changed drastically when I watched von Stroheim's Greed for the first time. The film, simply put, is immaculate. The portrayal of McTeague and Trina is fantastic. Pitts and Gowland, without using their voices mind you, create depth and allow the audience to sympathize with the characters. Silence often acted as a barrier between myself and the characters; here, that distance is bridged by the two actors and, I must assume, von Stroheim's masterful direction.
Yes, the direction is masterful. I believe describing it as such is entirely accurate. Innovative may go too far, but masterful just about covers it. The realism (which shooting on locations benefited) is something to behold. This is a story that Hollywood would balk at depicting in 2004; imagine the row that was had in 1924. Von Stroheim never backs away from his unrelentingly grim vision, reinforcing his theme (money is evil) throughout. And then there is the Death Valley sequence - one of the most marvelous series of scenes committed to celluloid.
All in all, this is truly a fantastic film - one that has aged, due to its ability to treat grim subject matter as it should, much better than many of its contemporaries. Also, it should be noted, that this represents a fine adaptation of Norris' novel McTeague. I was a fan of the novel before I saw the film and the film does not disappoint.
Von Stroheim ensured that the spirit, if not the word, of the novel was maintained.
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