McTeague: A Story of San Francisco
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Neal Bell's adaptation of Frank Norris's novel tells the story of a couple's courtship and marriage, and their subsequent descent into poverty, violence, and finally murder as the result of jealousy and greed. Frank Norris's novel McTeague is a panorama of the U S at the turn of the century: cowboys, gold mines, the immigrant experience, the advent of electricity and the movies. At the core is a gruesome cautionary tale, aptly retitled Greed by Erich Von Stroheim when he made a nine-hour film of it in 1923 . In adapting it anew . Neal Bell's script tells] a story of downward mobility, about a miner turned dentist (sans diploma) who winds up defrocked and doomed in an abandoned mine. --William A Henry I, Time Bell weaves a thick, dark tapestry of themes from MCTEAGUE's epic of incidents. Socially, the focus is on the helplessness of a rough simpleton in a rapidly urbanizing and professionalizing America -- and on the determination of immigrants and bootstrap-tuggers to cling to the middle class rather than fall into the Victorian abyss of want. Psychologically, it's on the metamorphosis of McTeague's innocent ignorance into murderous rage -- and Trina's sensible shift into masochistic self-denial. Morally, it's on the life-choking consequences of treating money as an end in itself rather than a means toward fulfilling human needs. Each of these levels resonates through the adaptation's writing. --Scott Rosenberg, San Francisco Examiner
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McTeague: A Story of San Francisco is 496 pages long.
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