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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 2,510 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 16 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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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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Release Date:

13 May 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City  »

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| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

After showing the movie, Arte TV showed three short trick films previously made by director Walter 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

 
Incredible historical document of a lost city.
2 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Berlin, Symphony of a City is a remarkable historical document of the mighty city before its Wagnerian capitulation within less than twenty years of its filming. Along with Paris, Berlin was the epicenter of a Europe emerging from World War 1 into the Roaring Twenties and director Walter Ruttman for the most part captures the energy and pace of the 20th century metropolis.

Moving from morning to night Symphony emphasizes the cities industrial muscle but also divides evenly portraits of the have and have nots of Berlin, the grime as well as the glitter. It is a city on the move and move it does from the crowded sidewalks to the congested avenues and its varied populace . It is in the faces of these Berliners that the film holds its greatest fascination for me watching children playing and youth sporting events with the knowledge that most of them will be of draft age for the oncoming conflagration that will reduce this city to rubble.

The documentary does have problems with some scenes clearly staged (in one case a suicide filmed in close-up) and a roller coaster scene is overlong but overall when put into historical context this is a valuable visual document of a city that is extinct as Atlantis.


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