In a brilliant adaptation of Jack London’s 1909 novel of the same name, the director Pietro Marcello has brought this drama about a young man looking for self-improvement from text to screen, and from Oakland, California, to Naples, Italy. Eden, a ruggedly handsome sailor, rescues a youth from a band of thugs. When the youth’s grateful parents invite Eden to their mansion, he falls prey to their riches, breathing in the opulence he sees and becoming obsessed with conquering their daughter, Elena. In fact, Elena is the switch. Eden begins studying, learning, and working without rest. It is all to bridge the gap between him and the object of his affection, but Eden’s journey from rags to riches is not all that he believed it would be. —E.C.