In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
King Vidor used hidden cameras for many scenes on New York City streets using real crowds instead of extras, real buses and trains and even real traffic cops. In one scene a police officer is looking toward the camera, admonishing someone to "move along". In fact, he was actually addressing Vidor and his disguised film crew. Vidor cleverly incorporated it into the scene. See more »
When a distraught John creates a ruckus at his office and leaves, shouting he's giving up his job, his suit is ragged and torn as he tussles with other workers. In the next scene, at home, his suit coat is perfect with no damage to it at all. See more »
MGM forced director King Vidor to film seven different endings to the film, giving exhibitors the chance to pick a happy or sad one as they pleased. Not a single exhibitor chose to use a happy ending. See more »
Silent drama about John (James Murray) and Mary (Eleanor Boardman) meeting in NYC, falling in love and marrying. John wants to make it big--to be somebody. He looks down on those who, he feels, have failed. But, after marriage and two kids, he's still stuck in the same dead-end job and sees no way out. Then tragedy strikes and John starts to crack.
A failure when first released (it's easy to see why--it's very depressing) but now considered a masterpiece. The story is grim but the ending is happy and realistic. Murray and Boardman give superb performances (especially Murray during a scene with his son on a bridge) and King Vidor's direction is superb. The visuals in this film are decades ahead of their time. His use of the crowds and the individuals lost among them are just great.
Hard to describe but a definite must-see. Just don't expect a barrel of laughs.
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