…just at the end there, I think our Daniel Day Lewis stepped over the line into ham-dom. And, talking of ham, There Will Be Blood was based on Oil, by Upton Sinclair, best known for his expose of the meat-packing industry, The Jungle, a book which, if not for bacon, could have turned me vegetarian. Sinclair was heavily influenced by the politicized naturalism of the French writer, Balzac, as were his fellow-Americans, William Dean Howells and Frank Norris. One of the best and most enjoyable examples of this gritty, melodramatic style and its fascination with base, human vice, is McTeague (1899) by Norris. Eric Von Stroheim’s adapted this novel into Greed, his black and white classic from 1924.