Miner-turned-dentist McTeague wins young Trina Sieppe away from her cousin Marcus, McTeague’s friend. When Trina wins five thousand dollars in a lottery, Marcus accuses McTeague of marrying her for her money. Trina becomes more and more obsessed with money, refusing to spend any of her winnings even though she and her husband are forced into dire straits. When Marcus informs the authorities that McTeague is not licensed as a dentist, thus depriving him of his meagre living, the friendship and the marriage are destroyed. At last murder intrudes, leaving no one unscathed.
Director: Erich von Stroheim.
Writers: Frank Norris (novel), June Mathis & Erich von Stroheim (screen adaptation and scenario), Joseph Farnham.
Stars: Zasu Pitts, Gibson Gowland, Jean Hersholt, Dale Fuller, Tempe Pigott, Sylvia Ashton, Chester Conklin, Joan Standing.
About this edit (from OP @KG):
“The goal of this edit was to restore the theatrical cut using the best available footage. I’ve taken the footage from the upscaled 720p TV broadcast of the 4 hour 1999 cut and removed all of the added material. All of the digital title cards have been replaced with the originals from the laserdisc. Additionally, the 1999 edit uses many digital fades and iris effects to transition between the original footage and the newly added material, and choices were made in editing that version to remove certain small beats, camera anomalies, and editing “errors” present in the original theatrical cut. I have done my best to restore the original transitions and keep the original footage intact using footage from the laserdisc.
Von Stroheim allegedly had some prints of the film color tinted, though none are known to exist. The 1999 cut digitally color tints certain shots for effect (though the majority remains in black and white). I have decided to keep all of the color tinting work done on the 1999 edit.
Keep in mind, this is not 100% true to the original source. I was unable to make a frame by frame true progressive encode of either source due to inconsistent cadences of each video’s pulldown. As a result, it was impossible to sync up the footage exactly in my timeline when I was making my edit. There are definitely some inconsequential frames removed from the beginnings and ends of certain shots in the 1999 edit, which I tried to restore when it was egregious, but 5 or 6 added frames from the laserdisc at the tail end of a shot would have made the viewing experience very jarring, so I used my discretion. While this edit is extremely close to the theatrical cut found on the laserdisc (which is by no means definitive – the print used for the 1999 edit has some footage not found on the print used for the laserdisc and vice versa*. Not every print of this nearly 100 year old film was conformed to one another), it’s not perfect. Minor differences, I’m sure, are present; when I have to blend footage from one source to the other it can’t be completely seamless; we don’t know what the color tinted prints (if they ever existed) would have actually looked like, so it can never be totally accurate. Still, I think this is a big upgrade from the laserdisc and the best way to watch the film.”