King Vidor's The Crowd (1928) tells the story of John Sims, born on the Fourth of July, 1900, as he grows up and tries to become a "big man." Generally considered one of the masterpieces of silent cinema, this simple tale of a young man from the country who comes to the city to make his fortune but finds that he must battle against the dehumanizing anonymity of the huge metropolis resonates with humor, imagination and human grandeur. This realistic, bittersweet drama of the day-to-day existence of an ordinary American is as relevant today as it was in 1928, just before the great stock market crash.
In Vidor's Academy Award nominated timeless silent masterpiece we see James Murray, an everyman white-collar worker, trying to make it with his wife in New York. Here Murray copes with cramped living conditions, a boring job, and a limited life of regret. Released on the eve of the Great Depression, Vidor's sharp social commentary raises questions about both the dominance of industrialization and the rise of the modern metropolis. Although strongly influenced by the German Expressionist works of Murnau and Lang, The Crowd is notable for its extensive location shooting in New York City and its naturalistic visual style, both of which produce a vivid portrait of the city and its social stratification.
Combining humor and melodrama, The Crowd centers on a sudden turn of events that strains the couple's relationship to the breaking point, forcing them to fight to keep their ever-diminishing dreams alive in a soulless urban society. This great movie was named to the list of "Top 100 American Films of All Time" by the American Film Institute."
"One of the greatest silent films, holds up beautifully." Leonard Maltin
"The Crowd is as good as people say, and it's worth seeing now." Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
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