7.9/10
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83 user 48 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.

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

Erich von Stroheim: [prostitutes] In a scene that was part of Stroheim's original cut, McTeague's father is shown carousing with prostitutes. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Version 1, 42 reels (circa 12,00 meters), edited by Erich von Stroheim - The original version ran for 9 h 11m at 20 fps. The Prologue scenes had gold tinting added for gold, brass beds, gold teeth, gilt frames, and the canary cage, reinforcing the idea of gold greed. It was only shown on 12 January 1924 at the MGM studios for a small group of reporters. One wrote a glowing review of it, using words like "wonderful" and "brilliant", but lamented the fact that nobody else would ever see it. No copies were made, and all the footage that did not make the release version were destroyed along with all of the out-takes, so that the silver could be extracted from the film celluloid. This is one of the top ten "lost films" of the American Film Institute. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Frank Capra's American Dream (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

The fact that so much is missing is a crime against us all.
16 March 2006 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

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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