Lust for gold destoys the lives of three people: San Francisco dentist McTeague (Gibson Gowland), his thrifty wife Trina (ZaSu Pitts) who won $5000 in a local lottery, and her cousin Marcus Schouler (Jean Hersholt).
Director Erich von Stroheim's original final print of this film ran nine and a half hours in length. It was eventually taken out of his control and cut to two hours for release in 1924, with much of the discarded footage lost years later. A four hour version was reconstructed in 1999 to incorporate some of the surviving pieces and create a more complete narrative.
This is the longest silent I've ever seen -- four hours, and yet I sincerely wish that I could have been one of those lucky few to view the entire film in its original length! The story was so fascinating that the time spent watching Greed seemed just to sail by. I was really taken in by the flawed characters and their frustrations, and how corrupted they became by wealth. The use of gold coloring throughout the film was such a great touch, as well as the overall lack of light throughout to symbolize a sort of dark despair. But the best scenes were definitely the ending ones in Death Valley -- absolutely amazing.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ½
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