Greed: Expanded Version | Chicago Reader

Greed: Expanded Version

This artificially expanded edition of Erich von Stroheim?s famous 1924 adaptation of Frank Norris?s McTeague, 99 minutes longer than the 140-minute studio release, is nothing like a director's cut, but it provides some fascinating clues about the now-lost longer versions. Hundreds of rephotographed stills have been added, sometimes with pans, zooms, or irises, to flesh out the MGM cut, guided by a 1923 "continuity screenplay," with additional intertitles and a new score. Rick Schmidlin, producer of this 1999 version for TCM, hasn't tried to approximate Stroheim's bold narrative digressions, but he's sketched out the two major missing subplots to the central story about an innocent San Francisco dentist (Gibson Gowland) and his unhappy wife (Zasu Pitts) whose lives are destroyed after they win a lottery. Stroheim's genius for physical detail is everywhere apparent. With Jean Hersholt. 239 min.

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