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178 - The Crowd (1928) 
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Post 178 - The Crowd (1928)
I started my journey two years ago and have seen over 150 of the top 1000 movies since I began. One of the great joys has been seeing so many silent films. the highlight was a trip to the cinema to see films with an orchestral backing! I'm now a huge fan of this.

In 1928 King Vidor gave us "The Crowd".


It's about missed dreams and a man's failure to be what he hopes. the film is incredibly relevant 80 years later. A young man gets a break and dreams of becoming a serious player in New York. We follow his life and ...

Some will find this film a complete downer and incredibly depressing. i wondered how the director even managed to get the money to make it. There's some great cinematography creating memorable images and set pieces. it's actually a wonderful glimpse of life back then.

I have a suspicion that I need to revisit this movie as I was tired when I started and may not have done it justice.


Thu May 19, 2011 3:31 pm
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Post Re: 178 - The Crowd (1928)
The Crowd (1928), King Vidor's silent film about the first thirty years of life of an ordinary man, Johnny Sims, as his youthful expectations that some day his ship come in gradually fade until he and his wife Mary become part of the crowd. Mildly depressing, occasionally amusing, it's a bit like watching Kane's first marriage in Citizen Kane. The movie is very influential. For example the bit in The Apartment where you see workers in an endless sea of desks is a tribute to a similar scene in this movie; I suspect the cubicles in Playtime may also have been inspired by the same scene. Vidor spells out things a bit too much: for example, early on Johnny is making fun of a street clown advertising a business; at the end of the movie Johnny is that clown and happy to be so. And the high point in Johnny and Mary's life is not just followed by the low point, it causes it.

Fittingly, there are a lot of crowd scenes in The Crowd, including one temporarily surreal image of a crowd of walkers and cars walking and driving through each other; it's then revealed that you've been looking through a pane of glass at the traffic and the walkers are reflected in it.

The film is always watchable, though it gets emotionally intense, but also suffers because its characters are so ordinary. Ultimately I give it 7.5 of 10. That's lower than most ratings; the film is generally considered one of the best silent films.

The film got beaten out for Artistic film by Sunrise and for director by 7th Heaven, proving that Vidor should have got Janet Gaynor to star in his film.

Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles

Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:44 pm
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