8.0/10
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The Crowd (1928)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 3 March 1928 (USA)
The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

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

King Vidor deliberately chose not to cast any big-name stars in his film, which was a tale of the Everyman. James Murray was a studio extra whom Vidor had bumped into on the studio lot, while Eleanor Boardman was a minor actress (and the director's second wife). See more »

Goofs

When a distraught John creates a ruckus at his office and leaves, shouting he's giving up his job, his suit is ragged and torn as he tussles with other workers. In the next scene, at home, his suit coat is perfect with no damage to it at all. See more »

Quotes

Bert: [Advice to Johnny as he leaves on his honeymoon] Don't forget to pull down the shades.
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Connections

Featured in Hollywood (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Undermining the American Dream
15 October 2003 | by (San Diego, CA) – See all my reviews

What I find interesting in this depiction of one man's downward spiral and the effect it has on his family is that it is remarkable realistic, especially for a silent film. Then, just as today, the man caught in a web of disillusionment begins to take out his frustrations on his family, blaming everyone and everything but himself for his failure to rise above the crowd. King Vidor directed Murray and Boardman (his wife) in their scenes together with a degree of subtlety rarely seen in silent films.

What I find unrealistic about this story is the absence of substance abuse. Johnny Sims, unlike James Murray who portrays him, never drowns his sorrows or medicates himself in an attempt to escape the pain of self-realization. The only episode involving alcohol, where Johnny goes out to get some alcohol for his in-law dinner guests and ends up partying with a friend until very late in the evening is realistic, but limited to the one short scene.

It's almost difficult for me to conceive of someone being so frustrated and depressed, but not turning to alcohol or drugs, which of course, usually have the effect of making things worse, and quickly. Such was the fate of James Murray whose portrayal of Sims was a flash of brilliance in an all too short career. He was my Great Uncle and when he died, he was penniless, found in the Hudson River with no identification but my grandfather's business card. Producer Irving Thalberg agreed with King Vidor that James Murray was one of the great natural acting talents of his time. His own story parallels The Crowd in many ways. In fact, Vidor wrote a screenplay based on Murray's life that he titled The Actor. He was attempting to raise money to produce the film in the late seventies, but unfortunately, it was never made. Now that really is a shame. --Larry Murray


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