Life's a Whirlpool (1916)

Genres - Drama  |  
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Eight years before the release of Erich Von Stroheim's Greed, Frank Norris's 1899 novel McTeague was adapted to the screen by World Film. The basic story pretty much follows the book: McTeague (Holbrook Blinn) is a coarse young man who becomes a dentist, after a fashion. He is rivals for the hand of Trina Sieppe (Fania Marinoff) with his pal Marcus Schuller (Walter Green). McTeague weds her and she wins the lottery. But she refuses to let go of the money, and her miserly attitude destroys the marriage. McTeague loses his job when the jealous Schuller has his dental practice investigated. These events bring out the brutality of his nature and eventually he murders Trina. He becomes a fugitive and is followed to the dese rt by Schuller. Both of them die on the barren land. The film received mixed reviews, some complaining about its naked realism (they didn't know what they were in for a few years later with Von Stroheim!). Variety gave it one of the more positive critiques, referring to it as "a good program feature" and saying that "The story is intensely dramatic, holding the interest throughout."