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

 |  Documentary  |  13 May 1928 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,594 users  
Reviews: 19 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.


(as Walther Ruttmann)


(screenplay), (idea), 1 more credit »
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Paul von Hindenburg ...
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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






Release Date:

13 May 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Featured in The Secret Life of Sergei Eisenstein (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

A Priceless Time Capsule of Germany's Weimar Period
10 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a very straightforward and pleasant silent picture that delivers exactly what it promises. Namely: footage of Berlin, its residents, and the whole spectrum of city activities during an ordinary day in 1927. If you have any interest in seeing real life in Weimar Germany, this film is an excellent rental. It opens with an Eisensteinian-style montage sequence, as a train approaches the city. Upon its arrival in Berlin's Union Station, the city is remarkably desolate. As the film progresses, the city begins to wake up, and you are shown residents at work (mostly in factories) and leisure. You will see shopkeepers, businessmen, restauranteurs, policemen, soldiers, politicians; children at play and even some vagrants. The acts become gradually more harsh as the film progresses, with mildly unpleasant imagery beginning to creep in (e.g. shots of dogs fighting, footage of beggars, litter, an arrest, etc.), only to gracefully recede as the film reaches its closing. The final act shows Berlin's night life, which is as lavish and swinging as anything in our own "Roaring 20's." This is an impeccable time capsule and it has something to offer both film and history buffs. Berlin was truly a world city at this time, and it was extremely interesting to see everything in the Weimar's Golden period, before Hitler and the destruction that followed. Technically speaking, it is a very well made and restored film; the footage is crisp and the music was never overwhelming. This is a really easy film to appreciate and it is definitely worthwhile, particularly for history buffs. Highly recommended. ---|--- Reviews by Flak Magnet

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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