7.6/10
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Asphalt (1929)

| Drama | 3 May 1930 (USA)
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 »

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(screenplay) (as Fred Majo), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Albert Steinrück ...
Else Heller ...
...
...
...
Konsul Langen
...
Ein Dieb
Arthur Duarte
...
Ein Dieb
Trude Lieske
Karl Platen
...
Frau an der Theke
Hermann Vallentin
Kurt Vespermann ...
(as Curt Vesperman)
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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

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Drama

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Release Date:

3 May 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asfalto  »

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Runtime:

| (restored)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Late UFA silent shows style trumping content as a Tru-Blue Cop is vamped by a femme fatale thief.
14 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

UFA helmer Joe May, once spoken of in tandem with F W Murnau or Fritz Lang, ended his career struggling for gigs on B-list Hollywood fodder. But this late silent, a superb psychological meller lovingly restored with a fine new score on KINO DVD, shows him in top form. It's the old story of a naive cop corrupted by a shady lady. He bends the rules for a night of love. But when her rich lover returns, tragedy strikes, and his disgrace can only be erased through her redemption. Thrillingly designed & shot in a studio-created Berlin, May uses the camera with Murnau-like freedom & expressivity, only stumbling over the pacing of a few scenes he has trouble ending. Gustav Frohlich will always be stamped by his silly perf in Lang's METROPOLIS, but in this more naturalistic mode, he's touching & handsome. As the femme fatale, Betty Amann leaves an odd taste. She's an obvious precursor/model for Liza Minnelli's Sally Bowles in CABARET (had Bob Fosse seen this film?), but she's also a dead ringer for Tony Curtis in his drag mode in Billy Wilder's SOME LIKE IT HOT. Perhaps not as much of a stretch as it sounds since Wilder was @ UFA in '29 and even wrote May's first Hollywood pic. (05/13/07)


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