Review: ‘Greedy’

There's an ambition to Greed y one simply has to admire. The concept - that a small army of potential heirs will stoop lower than a limbo dancer to pick up the pelf of a stinking-rich relative - is both timeless and timely. Yet the idea quickly goes awry as the filmmakers find themselves at sea deciding whether this is a notion to disdain or embrace.

There’s an ambition to Greed y one simply has to admire. The concept – that a small army of potential heirs will stoop lower than a limbo dancer to pick up the pelf of a stinking-rich relative – is both timeless and timely. Yet the idea quickly goes awry as the filmmakers find themselves at sea deciding whether this is a notion to disdain or embrace.

The yarn centers on the McTeague brood (a cinematic reference to the protagonist of von Stroheim’s silent masterpiece Greed , based upon Frank Norris’ novel McTeague), who live for the death of wheelchair-bound Uncle Joe (Kirk Douglas), a snarly, reprehensible curmudgeon who made a fortune in scrap metal.

Joe barely veils his contempt for the sycophants. But the big bombshell is the arrival of Molly (Olivia d’Abo), a nubile Brit who graduated from delivering pizza into becoming Joe’s so-called nurse. The little ace the warring clan turns up is Daniel McTeague Jr (Michael J. Fox), about to give up the pro bowler tour as a result of a developing arthritic wrist. He’s susceptible to the lure of money.

Director Jonathan Lynn knows exactly what elements to emphasize when the action moves through breakneck drawing-room comedy. But the script aims higher, embracing pathos even when the results are pure bathos.

Greedy

Production

Imagine/Universal. Director Jonathan Lynn; Producer Brian Grazer; Screenplay Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel; Camera Gabriel Beristain; Editor Tony Lombardo; Music Randy Edelman; Art Director Victoria Paul

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1994. Running time: 113 MIN.

With

Michael J. Fox Kirk Douglas Nancy Travis Olivia d'Abo Phil Hartman Ed Begley Jr
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