IMDb > Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)
Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt
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Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927) More at IMDbPro »Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt (original title)

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Up 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Karl Freund (screenplay)
Carl Mayer (idea)
View company contact information for Berlin: Symphony of a Great City on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 May 1928 (USA) See more »
This movie shows us one day in Berlin, the rhythm of that time, starting at the earliest morning and ends in the deepest night. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
One of the best 'slice of life' documentaries that doesn't age but keeps getting better and better. See more (21 total) »


  (in alphabetical order)
Paul von Hindenburg ... Himself (uncredited)

Directed by
Walter Ruttmann  (as Walther Ruttmann)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Karl Freund  screenplay
Carl Mayer  idea
Walter Ruttmann  screenplay (as Walther Ruttmann)

Produced by
Karl Freund .... producer
Original Music by
Edmund Meisel 
Cinematography by
Robert Baberske 
Reimar Kuntze 
László Schäffer  (as Laszlo Schäffer)
Karl Freund (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Walter Ruttmann (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Erich Kettelhut (uncredited)
Production Management
Karl Freund .... production supervisor
Music Department
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin .... music performer: 2009 restored version
The Olympia Chamber Orchestra .... music performer: 1994 version
Bernd Thewes .... music arranger: 2009 restored version

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt" - Germany (original title)
"Berlin: A Symphony of a Big City" - International (English title) (informal literal title)
"Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis" - USA
See more »
65 min | Finland:79 min | Germany:74 min (restored version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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 »
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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
One of the best 'slice of life' documentaries that doesn't age but keeps getting better and better., 18 September 2009

An amazing work of the 'slice of life' films of the 20s, really the main and most admirable example along with Dziga vertov's Man With the Movie Camera, to this day, the film remains an effective portrayal of the great city that Berlin was even back when the film was made. In fact, as time goes by, it picks up even greater importance because of the historical value that it holds.

What is truly admirable is the editing and the cinematography. Perhaps even more than the things that are contained in the framework, is the framework itself which has the first impact on the viewer. The wonderful photography, and the skilled editing that is able to go from man to machine, from trains to horses, from workmen to roller-coaster rids, are always elegant and original, even in regards to Vertov's later work mentioned above. It is, in fact, stylistically a Ruttmann work. Although the work of Vertov and Ruttmann are similar, there is a difference in the sense that while The man With the Movie Camera is aware of being a film, and plays with the process of film-making, Berlin actually lets the contents of the framework play out, and never quite interferes with it.

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