7.9/10
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81 user 47 critic

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.

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Writers:

(screen adaptation and scenario), (screen adaptation and scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Trina
... McTeague
... Marcus
... Maria
Tempe Pigott ... Mother McTeague
Sylvia Ashton ... 'Mommer' Sieppe (as Silvia Ashton)
... 'Popper' Sieppe
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:

Language:

Release Date:

26 January 1925 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pohlepa  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$546,883 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1999 reconstructed) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Handschiegel Color)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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

Title Card: First... chance had brought them face to face; now... mysterious instincts, as ungovernable as the winds of the heavens, were knitting their lives together.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Careful (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Greatest Silent Drama
25 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

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.

10/10


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