Sisif, a railwayman, and his son Elie fall in love with the beautiful Norma (who Sisif rescued from a train crash when a baby and raised as his daughter), with tragic results. Originally ... See full summary »
Gabriel de Gravone
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>
Included among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider. 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 »
[counting her money]
$750, oh how I saved and slaved for you. Nobody will ever have you.
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The fact that so much is missing is a crime against us all.
I saw the Turner Classic Movies version of this with the still pictures implanted in missing scenes. Although a certain flow is lost, it comes across as a great film. What a shame that so much was destroyed. It tells the story of two pretty good people who should never have got together. Zasu Pitts who looks pretty glamorous at first, is obsessed with money. This obsession ends up destroying her life and McTeagues. There are scenes that are just uncomfortable and others that are horrible. The jockeying for position in the family with the husband willing to bend only so far leads to tragic consequences. Avarice will eventually take one down and Von Stroheim showed this to us. The scene with the two men fighting it out in the desert at the end is one of the most painful ever. Neither can ever hope to survive, yet their fixation on gold goes beyond their love of life. It is so pathetic. Even with all that missing footage, everyone should see this for the masterful presentation of the sick and dying characters. Deep down inside, I've always hoped that someone will open a vault or a supply cabinet, and there will be the rest of Von Stroheim's masterpiece. We can only hope, can't we.
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