Greed (1924)| Review
Updated: May 31, 2022
The story behind Greed's production is bound to be one of the most interesting and obscure. It was the first to shoot on location, which took place in San Francisco. Erich von Stroheim shot approximately 48 hours of footage before editing some aspects out. The finished film had a runtime of approximately eight hours. Only 11 people saw that version of the film with all of them calling the film: "The Greatest Film of All Time." MGM, a developing studio at the time, produced the film and would later cut the film to a mere four hours before its initial release in January of 1924. The film was a financial and critical failure at the time, soon garnered praise and spots on"Greatest Films of All Time" lists. It again released in 1999 under its four hour cut, and has since been cut down even further. I saw the 103 minute long version, which is free on YouTube and with this link.
The film follows a dentist and his wife as their lives are changed due to a lottery win. They both become slightly paranoid as their world starts to close in on them.
While the film follows a not very complicated story, it play out like a Greek tragedy. Stroheim directs the story to almost feel like you're watching an ancient myth appear on the screen. The screenplay gives a helping hand in establishing the atmosphere of an ancient myth. The "initial" cinematography was done perfectly, "initial" referring to some aspects cut out over time. Despite the reputation behind the film, it's a masterpiece nonetheless.
Time Stamp: May 13, 2020