#23 Greed (1924)

So it’s been said that money is the root of all evil. Do you believe that’s true? How many rich people do you know who were satisfied with what they had? Erich von Stroheim’s Greed definitely makes you see how money can be life’s evil element. There are so many people out there who dream of wealth but they don’t think about the kind of people they can turn into and how acquiring money is never permanent. Greed is about a newly married couple who become lottery winners but turn into greedy, evil people in the fight to save their money and get more.

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This was MGM’s first feature length film. It’s also the first film to be shot entirely on location. Another fact I found interesting is how the camera had to be wrapped in ice towels for the Death Valley scene because of the scorching heat. Remember- film was fragile back then. At first seeing this film, I didn’t know if it was going to be a love triangle story of a dentist, a beautiful girl, and her fiancé and how they would try to win her over through money. Instead, it turned into something much more- a love story that slowly ends in tragedy. We see these two people protect their money like it’s a person, grow angry and violent towards each other, and finally learning that enough is never enough. If you have thousands, you’ll still want millions. What would you do if you won the lottery?

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My feminist alert came on while seeing this film and I couldn’t help but notice how sexist this film is. The character of Trina was treated like an object to be passed off. First she’s engaged to be married and then just because her fiancé’s friend wants to be with her as well, he has no problem passing her off to him without asking her how she feels about it. What did you think about that? This film is an accurate representation of how a lot of people are about money and how it can change you for the worst instead of the better.

Watch MGM’s first film and let me know what you think. Unfortunately, the only copy that’s available has scratchy sound and Italian title cards. I recommend going on http://www.filmsite.org/gree.html and follow along with the translation. Also, turn the film on mute and put on a classical music playlist while seeing the film. I recommend Piano Moods on Spotify:

 

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One thought on “#23 Greed (1924)

  1. Pingback: #39 The Crowd (1928) – 1001 Films in 365 Days

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