7.9/10
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Greed (1924)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller, Western | 26 January 1925 (USA)
The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.

Director:

Erich von Stroheim

Writers:

June Mathis (screen adaptation and scenario), Erich von Stroheim (screen adaptation and scenario) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Zasu Pitts ... Trina
Gibson Gowland ... McTeague
Jean Hersholt ... Marcus
Dale Fuller ... Maria
Tempe Pigott ... Mother McTeague
Sylvia Ashton Sylvia Ashton ... 'Mommer' Sieppe (as Silvia Ashton)
Chester Conklin ... 'Popper' Sieppe
Joan Standing Joan Standing ... Selina
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Storyline

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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 1925 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pohlepa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$546,883 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$161,800, 31 December 1926
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1999 reconstructed) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Color (Handschiegel Color)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film presumably takes place around the time the novel was published (1899). If so, the Cliff House depicted in the film would not be the one that existed in Frank Norris' time, that Victorian Gothic stricter having survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake only to burn down a year later. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

McTeague: [Trina won't let him in the house, and won't give him any money or food] Come on, Trina, I wouldn't even treat a dog like this!
Trina: [shows where her fingers were amputated] Not even if he... bit you?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Version 6, 10 reels (circa 3,000 meters), edited by Joseph Farnham acting on orders from Irving Thalberg, regardless of the "McTeague" novel or the script. This final version was released by MGM with a runtime of 2 h 15 m. See more »

Connections

Featured in Birth of Hollywood: Episode #1.3 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I'd Like to See the Ten Hour Cut
23 September 2005 | by Polaris_DiBSee all my reviews

A film almost as powerful as it is famous, Greed is pretty straight-forward about its theme: Greed. And what it does to people.

This would not be a silent film known for its subtlety, but a large part of that is the fact that it's really only a tenth of the film it was supposed to be. Entire reels have been cut down to single cue-cards, entire years jump by that were obviously supposed to be shown. In terms of the general "rules" of narrative, it works out well enough that it's still a quite clear story that follows a reasonable pace, but the lack of a lot of the character development and the like is pretty apparent.

Still, the music used on the film and the general story itself is powerful enough, it's definitely worth your time.

A man and a woman marry. The man is a simpleton, the woman is a hoarder. When she wins a $5000 lottery, she vows never to spend a cent of it... something that sets her husband and their common friend at odds as they all want the cash... but not necessarily to spend it. Entire relationships and lives are ripped asunder as they all grapple for their rights to "their" property: their greed.

This movie has been praised for its realism, but that couldn't be further from the truth. This movie is romanticized to the level of absurdity, the characters are so full-blown they are often hard to relate to. This comes from the fact that 80% of their development has been lost in the final cut. I don't want this to seem like a bad thing: because of their incredible antics, the movie takes you to places almost entirely unheard of and definitely unexpected.

It's one deep thrill after the other, backed up by some very beautiful imagery and intense music. It's just unfortunately not what the director intended. Even back in the day, people just didn't have a big enough attention span, and I find that very tragic. I want to see the ten-hour version.

--PolarisDiB


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