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The Crowd (1928)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  3 March 1928 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,905 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 29 critic

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

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(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Crowd (1928)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mary
...
John
Bert Roach ...
Bert
Estelle Clark ...
Jane
Daniel G. Tomlinson ...
Jim
Dell Henderson ...
Dick
Lucy Beaumont ...
Mother
Freddie Burke Frederick ...
Junior
Alice Mildred Puter ...
Daughter
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Storyline

Born on the fourth of July, 1900, the future holds unlimited potential for newborn John Sims. But dreams soon fade with the death of his father when John is but a lad. Like many before him, John sets out to make his mark in New York City, but ends up a faceless worker (#137) in a large office of a large business. Still he is happy with his fate and soon meets a young woman named Mary on a blind double date. Things take their course and they soon marry and live in a small apartment. Soon John is bickering with Mary and finds that he has no love for the in-laws. When the marriage looks like a bust, he finds that Mary is with child and he stays. After 5 years, he has a son and a daughter and the same dead end job. When tragedy strikes, John must find the conviction to continue or lose what little he has left. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

3 March 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

One of the Mob  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While MGM liked the script they thought there was very little chance it would turn a profit. Despite the risk, studio production head Irving Thalberg let King Vidor film this as a pet project because Vidor had made many successful pictures for the studio - and even more importantly had made the studio a lot of money. As it turned out, the film grossed more than twice what it cost to make. See more »

Quotes

John 'Johnny' Sims: Look at that crowd! The poor slobs... all in the same rut!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the greatest of all American films.
13 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Crowd" is King Vidor's experimental triumph, a snapshot of the common man that perfectly captured not only the exhilarating whir and unbridled optimism of the Roaring Twenties but also the cruel realities of life without a social safety net. Vidor conned his studio bosses into letting him make this little movie, with a comparatively small budget, in exchange for Vidor's future commitments to commercial, big-budget pictures that were MGM's bread and butter.

Vidor cast his wife, the beautiful Eleanor Boardman, as the plain Jane female lead Mary. Reports say Boardman was nonplussed at having to look so ordinary on screen, especially since she was the prototypical movie star -- snooty and obsessed with clothes and all issues of personal style.

For the hero, John, Vidor literally picked a face from "the crowd" -- a little-known actor named James Murray whose own life and ultimate fate eerily mirrored those of the character he played. A few years after "The Crowd," the troubled Murray was a suicide, jumping to his drowning death. While his character in the film doesn't kill himself, he does come awfully close -- his suicidal impulse to jump from a railroad trestle is aborted only for the love of an adoring son.

I would love this movie if for no other reason than the gorgeous tracking shot up the side of the skyscraper at the beginning, where we meet John at work, a faceless functionary at a giant, depersonalized corporation that seems to be model for modern corporate America.

This movie is worth seeing, even with the happy ending Vidor chose from seven he shot. Actually, I kind of like the ending -- John, Mary and son fade back into "the crowd"; it seems like the most logical and happiest fate they could hope to attain.

This is truly a great film.


23 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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