The Crowd (1928)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  3 March 1928 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 5,390 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 33 critic

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



(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller


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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Release Date:

3 March 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

One of the Mob  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Having achieved great financial success with some of his earlier productions, King Vidor had the clout to get this experimental film made at MGM. He was able to convince Irving Thalberg that it was a risk worth taking (Thalberg believed that every now and then a studio should make a movie for prestige not profits). His boss MGM chief Louis B. Mayer however felt somewhat differently; he hated the film because of its bleak subject matter and downbeat ending. In fact, in the very first Academy Award submissions, Mayer spoke out vehemently against his film, urging his fellow board members not to vote for it. They didn't, giving the first (and only) Academy Award for Best Film - Unique and Artistic Production to F.W. Murnau's Sunrise (1927). See more »


After John sprays himself with milk when opening the bottle, his clothes go from covered with milk to clean from one shot to the next. See more »


Johnny's Boyhood Friend: What are you gonna be when you grow up, Whitey?
Whitey - Johnny's Boyhood Black Friend: I detend to be a preacher man! Hallelujah!
Johnny's Nerdy Boyhood Friend: I purpose to seek occupation as a cowboy
See more »


Referenced in Loser (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Fascinating, compelling, depressing
10 July 1999 | by (NAS Whidbey Island) – See all my reviews

Like most of the silent tragedies I've seen (and there haven't been many), "The Crowd" was hard to like. That didn't stop it from being a finely directed and acted drama. Like any film from any era that avoids the traps of trend-conscious filmmaking, "The Crowd" was built to last. When you make a movie with a good, solid story and inspire the cast to give brilliant performances, it's difficult to go wrong.

It's not a fun movie -- most of the time we're spent watching James Murray shoot himself in the foot, scene after scene. He's a really pathetic creature, but the director, King Vidor, portrays him and his story without passing judgment.

Worth the price of admission alone, Vidor's eye for detail in old New York City. In a justly famous montage and tracking shot near the beginning, he shows us Gotham so well, and in such great detail, that hardly a director since has been able to match him. His nomination of Best Director at the first Academy Awards was completely deserved (and his loss to Frank Borzage for the creaky "7th Heaven" was, arguably, the first of Oscar's major blunders.)

It's a bleak world view, that's for sure, but it keeps your attention and fills your eye.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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