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

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Asphalt -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   911 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Joe May (screenplay) &
Hans Székely (screenplay) ...
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View company contact information for Asphalt on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 May 1930 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German... See more » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(4 articles)
Gold (1934)
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 (From Alt Film Guide. 25 August 2015, 9:02 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Dramatic Early Film-Noir See more (16 total) »

Cast

  (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

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Runtime:
90 min | Germany:94 min (restored version) (24 fps)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
A Dramatic Early Film-Noir, 11 January 2011
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

In Berlin, the dedicated traffic officer Albert Holk (Gustav Fröhlich) is a young man that lives with his parents. When the elegant and charming Else Kramer (Betty Amann) shoplifts a diamond in the Bergen Jewelry, the officer arrests her despite the request of the owner to release the youngster after retrieving the stone. They take a cab to the police station and Else first cries and then she unsuccessfully tries to seduce the uncorrupted officer. When they are in front of the precinct, Else asks Albert to go to her house first to get her documents. The reluctant officer finally accepts her request to go to her apartment and once there, she seduces him. On the next day, Albert feels guilty for failing on his duty. Else decides to return his documents that she had stolen in the previous night with a box of cigars. When the carrier delivers the envelope to Albert, he goes to Else's apartment offended with the bribe. But sooner he succumbs to the gorgeous lady and proposes her. Else questions the future of a policeman with a thief and shows that she stole the diamond for greed and not for need. Meanwhile, Else's lover Konsul Langen (Hans Adalbert Schlettow) returns from Paris where he had heisted the safe of a bank and finds Albert and Else together in her apartment. When Konsul pushes Else on the floor, Albert defends her and himself and their fight lead to a tragic conclusion.

"Asphalt" is a dramatic German silent film and an early film-noir. The gorgeous dark-haired Betty Amann is one of the most expressive actresses I have ever seen, and her eyes are amazing in the close-ups. The sequence in the taxi with the tears in her eyes is fantastic. Her performance is remarkable and her character certainly is one of the first femme fatales of the cinema history. The dilemma of Albert Holk, shared between his duty and the seductive woman, is one of the best moments of this film. This film registers the streets of Berlin in the late 20's with a great traffic of buses and automobiles and crowded streets. The music score of this highly recommended DVD is also awesome. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Asfalto" ("Asphalt")

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cast listing is incorrect--Louise Brooks is NOT in this movie david_foss
Where can I watch this online? crawlingkitty
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