Greed (1924) – movie review


For the only movie from the 1920s on the Empire Magazine’s The 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time and the first movie ever released by the highly prestigious Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, this is the most boring movie I have ever laid eyes upon.

Greed is a silent film in black and white about an illegal dentist who marries a girl who wins the lottery prize of $5,000, whilst a jealous previous lover holds a deep hatred for the both of them.

Erich von Stroheim apparently shot over 85 hours of footage and planned on releasing it with a runtime of over 7 hours, which was quickly reduced by MGM to a bit more than 2 (thank god). The TV version of this film (the only one I could find) used the 2 hours of film and added an extra 2 hours of still photos and title cards to present Erich’s original vision. Once I passed the 1 hour mark, I was finding it increasingly difficult to prevent myself from pulling out my hair.

Greed has been considered by some (including Orson Welles) as one of the greatest films ever made. I can understand why it was kind of revolutionary (theme-wise) but I couldn’t find anything more to like about this film. Other than the badly written title cards, they were entertaining in a mocking way.

It’s hard to understand the character’s motives in the film, it’s hard to see what’s happening, it’s hard to be interested in the story and it’s hard to stay awake.

To be honest, I think I might’ve liked the original 2 hour cut if I got a chance to see it. But this 4 hour cut with half of it’s runtime consisting of photos has put me off the thought of ever watching this again.

What did you think of Greed? Leave your comment on the side and don’t forget to follow my Instagram page for movie posters.


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