IMDb > Asphalt (1929)
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Asphalt (1929) More at IMDbPro »

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Joe May (screenplay) &
Hans Székely (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Asphalt on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 May 1930 (USA) See more »
Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German... See more » | Full synopsis »
1 win See more »
(4 articles)
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User Reviews:
marvelous visual & thematic template See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Joe May 
Writing credits
Joe May (screenplay) (as Fred Majo) &
Hans Székely (screenplay) &
Rolf E. Vanloo (screenplay) (as Rolf Vanloo)

Rolf E. Vanloo  story (uncredited)

Produced by
Erich Pommer .... producer
Max Pfeiffer .... assistant producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Karl-Ernst Sasse (1995)
Willy Schmidt-Gentner 
Cinematography by
Günther Rittau 
Art Direction by
Erich Kettelhut 
Robert Herlth (uncredited)
Walter Röhrig (uncredited)
Costume Design by
René Hubert 
Camera and Electrical Department
Hans Schneeberger .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min | Germany:94 min (restored version) (24 fps)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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24 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
marvelous visual & thematic template, 5 August 2004
Author: goblinhairedguy from Montreal

Joe May's "Asphalt" is not as well remembered as the other masterpieces of German silent expressionist cinema, possibly due to the lack of immortals in the cast and its decidedly commercial scenario. But it certainly deserves a mention alongside the great works of Lang, Pabst, Murnau, et al. The cop-seduced-by-the-sexy-crook plot is the prototype for many a great (and not-so-great) film noir to come, and the seduction scene certainly packs a punch. Like most films of the time, it eventually descends into melodrama, but Gunther Rittau's remarkably mobile and probing camera is so skillful in revealing the characters' thoughts and lending pathos to their plight that he and the director transcend the clichés in the manner of Stahl and Ophuls, with some Langian irony peeking through at times. The opening profile of the city is a justly famed visual tour-de-force, but the stark, expressionist compositions that highlight the climax are just as striking and iconic. May never made the big time in Hollywood, but spun a few good programmers for the B picture mill.

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