MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 9,148 this week

Asphalt (1929)

 -  Drama | Film-Noir  -  3 May 1930 (USA)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 717 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 12 critic

Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 21 Jun 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 15 Apr 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 01 Jun 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 13 Oct 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 22 Nov 2012
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Asphalt (1929)

Asphalt (1929) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Asphalt.
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Albert Steinrück ...
Else Heller ...
Frau Holk
...
Betty Amann ...
Else Kramer
Hans Adalbert Schlettow ...
Konsul Langen
Hans Albers ...
Ein Dieb
Arthur Duarte
Paul Hörbiger ...
Ein Dieb
Trude Lieske
Karl Platen
Rosa Valetti ...
Frau an der Theke
Hermann Vallentin
Kurt Vespermann ...
(as Curt Vesperman)
Edit

Storyline

Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to its characters, and the ability to take a simple and essentially melodramatic story and turn it into something more complex and inherently cinematic. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 May 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asphalt  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Joe May's tale of forbidden self-abnegation asks whose ass is really at fault?
28 October 2007 | by (Chinatown, California) – See all my reviews

From its elaborate and stylish opening scenes, Asphalt immediately establishes itself as a startling achievement. This unforgettable film is in many ways the perfect summation of German film-making in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to its characters, and the ability to take a simple and essentially melodramatic story and turn it into something more complex and inherently cinematic. Although influenced by such classics as The Last Laugh and Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, Asphalt is a unique look at urban life and a classic in its own right.

The plot in Asphalt is very simple: a woman caught trying to shoplift a diamond seduces the cop entrusted with bringing her to justice and the cop pays an very high cost for his lapse in judgment, but great films don't require elaborate plots to achieve their greatness. Betty Amann, the female lead who looks like a mash-up of Louise Brooks and Betty Boop, is sensuous and sultry but not cartoonishly so. In other words, she's no Theda Bara and thank goodness for that. Perhaps if she was a cult goddess like Brooks, Asphalt would be no different than the G.W. Pabst classic Pandora's Box. It is completely baffling why Amann never became a star. Amann is paired greatly with Gustav Fröhlich, who is remembered for his performance in Fritz Lang's classic Metropolis, you will be surprised at his range here. Emotionally naked, Fröhlich goes from anger to tenderness, and then to craven denial when faced with the consequences of a violent act.

Asphalt is directed by Joe May, a leading German filmmaker of the 1910s and 1920s who is also known for the two-part epic The Indian Tomb. In addition, he helped to launch the career of Fritz Lang. Like Lang, May later relocated to Hollywood, where he directed several classic B-films, most notably The Invisible Man Returns. But Asphalt remains perhaps his most famous, and his greatest, work. However, May's handling of individual scenes is impressive. Reality is put in its place when location shots of the city are followed by a breathtaking Expressionist caricature of what we've just been shown, with the camera craning and tracking through throngs of extras and fleets of vehicles on UFA's enormous street set.

As Dave Kehr from the New York Times said, "Asphalt reveals a filmmaker of astonishing technical skills and a distinctive visual style, based on a use of raked sets to create a sense of precariousness and claustrophobia." Brilliant!!!


26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where can I watch this online? crawlingkitty
cast listing is incorrect--Louise Brooks is NOT in this movie david_foss
Discuss Asphalt (1929) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?