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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:

Greedy Wives See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$546,883 (estimated)
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

Costa-Gavras has said in an interview that he decided he wanted to be a film maker after seeing this film. 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

Lottery Agent: On presentation of your ticket... you will receive a check for five thousand dollars!
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 Futility (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

The Reconstruction of "Greed"
26 August 2010 | by malvernpSee all my reviews

So much has been written about this extraordinary work of art that little remains to be said. Perhaps it might be useful to consider the three landmark years that are associated with this film:

1924---The badly mutilated and much abridged version that runs 140 minutes is released by M-G-M. Although there are many different views of the original running time of "Greed", it is generally believed to be over nine hours. Key characters and story lines were deleted altogether to accommodate the bureaucrats of the new M-G-M. The deleted footage apparently has been lost forever. All that remains of the deleted portions of the film are archival still photos and unused dialog cards. This 140 minute version is the only one known to modern audiences up until the year 1973.

1973---Herman G. Weinberg, a film historian, published through E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc. his monumental book entitled "The Complete Greed." Weinberg attempted through supplementary use of the surviving archival material to assemble a photographic reconstruction of the original film. Obviously, Weinberg was in uncharted territory. The book represents one scholar's serious effort to present us with an approximation of the nine hour film. It is flawed but absolutely indispensable to anyone interested in "Greed."

1999---Turner Classic Movies took Weinberg's concept to the next level by incorporating the surviving archival material into the existing 140 minute version----employing a method similar to that used in the reconstruction of Frank Capra's "Lost Horizon" (1937) and Judy Garland's "A Star Is Born" (1954) directed by George Cukor. However, unlike those films, TCM's version is only a reconstruction and not a reconstruction/restoration. The end result is a film that now runs a little over four hours, where the archival material actually looks better in many respects than some of the elements from the original 140 minute film.

The TCM version is a revelation to people who are unfamiliar with Weinberg's book. It is a superb achievement in itself and allows the viewer for the very first time to see a reasonable approximation of Von Stroheim's film on a screen.

So much has been said about the tragedy of what happened to "Greed." While the TCM reconstruction cannot reverse this situation, we should be grateful for the opportunity to see, ponder and be moved by the "Greed" of "what might have been."


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