In 1924, two of cinema’s most famous film studios were created. Three companies, Marcus Loew’s Metro Pictures Corporation, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer Picutres Company combined to form MGM. The first film under the MGM banner was Lon Chaney’s He Who Gets Slapped, which would also be the first film to begin with the infamous lion roar that would be the logo for MGM for decades after. In the same year, brothers Jack and Harry Cohn and Joseph Brandt would change their C.B.C. Film Sales Company into the Columbia Film Corporation.
Since the early twentieth century, greed has been a subject to fascinate filmmakers and movie audiences alike. It is a vice that can turn normal men into monsters. Like a plague, it spreads ever so easily to destroy the Host and the Innocent. The most notable starting point of greed on film is in Erich von Stroheim’s silent work Greed (1924). Famous for its original ten-hour length, which was obliterated much to the director’s chagrin by over seven hours worth of cuts, Greed explored in much detail how destructive the abstract can be. In this week’s Reel Rumbles, the wages of greed are examined further by two modern classics, adaptations of the literary works of Upton Sinclair (Oil!) and Cormac McCarthy. Lie to friends, horde your wealth, and steal from family members – it’s time for No Country for Old Men vs. There Will Be Blood.