Greed is insidious because we can see it in walks of life even in our own families, work, you name it. How many times do people win the lottery only to play it again, why? Greed can probably be found in many films including my favourite, "It’s a Wonderful Life". So one has to choose 3 films that fit this week’s theme, this is the brainchild of Wandering Through The Shelves and here are my 3...
This is a superlative, if unlikeable, film directed by the great Erich Von Stroheim who paid so much attention to detail, it destroyed his career as a director because he just spent way too much of the studio’s money. He put everything into this film which would now be on Netflix as a 4 part series but back then, the studio slashed the film to bits getting rid of many subtle tidbits that Stroheim created and was he disgusted by what happened to his masterwork. This stars Gibson Gowland As a dentist who meets a young woman, played by the comedienne, Zasu Pitts, in a very different role for her, and he woos her over a sewer..yeah not a place I would have a picnic. They marry and before you know it, he wins the lottery and they are overjoyed. Soon, the wife begins to change and hoards the money and controls her husband as they live in more poverty than ever before. Whenever he tries to spend anything, even his own meagre earnings, she puts a stop to it. Let’s just say their marriage is not a happy one. It is a great film and one critic who did see it in its entirety way back then said it was the best thing he ever saw. It would be a huge find if ever one could find some lost pieces but even without those, it is still a film worth seeing and the ending in Death Valley really grips you.
2. DOUBLE INDEMNITY-1944
Gosh, I love this film even with Barbara Stanwyck’s bad wig which just seems to work with her viper gal image in this movie by Billy Wilder. You know, from the beginning, that Fred MacMurray’s character, an insurance agent, fell into lust with Stanwyck and they both decided to kill her old hubby in an “accident” style so she can claim double the insurance and they can live happily ever after....hahahaaa. You know she is bad news from the moment you see her anklet as she comes down the staircase to greet Freddie in nothing but a robe. This is an excellent film noir, well acted and brilliant writing by Wilder and Raymond Chandler(they hated each other). Funny, Billy Wilder said he loved Stanwyck and said his dream was her greeting him at the door when he got home with high heels, an apron..and nothing else.
3. TREASURE OF THE SIERRE MADRE-1948
I saw the Bugs Bunny cartoon before I saw this film and had no idea who the guy was who kept appearing to Bugs asking for money until I finally saw this film. You meet Dobbs, played by Humphrey Bogart, who is an American down on his luck. He meets another American and an old timer who knows there’s gold in dem dar hills. They team up and go deep into the jungle to dig for gold. We see the affable Dobbs slowly turn from a disarming nobody to a paranoid a-hole who salivates over all the gold they find. He wants to hoard all the gold for himself and will kill for it. You see how each man is changed as a result. Another film worth seeing where John Huston, the director and Walter Huston, the dad, both win Oscars.
Now which films would you choose?