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Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)
"Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt" (original title)

 -  Documentary  -  13 May 1928 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,351 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 15 critic

This movie shows us one day in Berlin, the rhythm of that time, starting at the earliest morning and ends in the deepest night.

Director:

(as Walther Ruttmann)

Writers:

(screenplay), (idea), 1 more credit »
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Directors: Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Paul von Hindenburg ...
Himself (uncredited)
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Storyline

A train speeds through the country on its way to Berlin, then gradually slows down as it pulls into the station. It is very early in the morning, about 5:00 AM, and the great city is mostly quiet. But before long there are some signs of activity, and a few early risers are to be seen on the streets. Soon the new day is well underway - it's just a typical day in Berlin, but a day full of life and energy. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

Release Date:

13 May 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the movie, Arte TV showed 3 short trick films previously made by Ruttmann, whose motives had been used as transitions in the movie (air date: 1 Dec 2007). See more »

Connections

Features The Gold Rush (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

A Fascinating Classic
11 February 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This fascinating classic never loses its ability to capture the attention and stimulate the imagination of its viewers. The technique is creative and resourceful, the photography is beautiful, and the images are memorable. Everything fits together to make the idea work wonderfully well.

The opening sequence with the train is an exciting and well-conceived way to start the movie. As the pace picks up, the rush of images creates an abstract but very realistic sensation, and this train 'ride' is so enjoyable that you almost don't want it to stop.

But it's when the train reaches the station that the main part of the movie begins, presenting a very interesting stylized portrait of a typical day in Berlin, through a carefully-chosen variety of scenes and sights. It's interesting to see how the train imagery keeps coming back from time to time, and this, along with the obvious passage of time as the day progresses, gives it a coherence that makes it much more than just a collage of interesting images and scenes.

There are many interesting individual sequences, but what makes it such a gem is the way that everything fits together. The overall effect is remarkable, and it really has to be seen to be appreciated.


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