7.7/10
3,278
21 user 18 critic

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)

Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary | 13 May 1928 (USA)
This movie shows us one day in Berlin, the rhythm of that time, starting at the earliest morning and ends in the deepest night.

Director:

Walter Ruttmann (as Walther Ruttmann)

Writers:

Karl Freund (screenplay), Carl Mayer (idea) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Against a dark background, several bright, curved or rounded shapes pulse towards the center of the screen, one at a time. They are followed by many other shapes, some irregular, some ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Ruttmann
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The life of a great city (Paris) from dawn until dusk, including the beautiful and the ragged, the rich and the poor, with little or no comment (intertitles) from the director, Cavalcanti (whose first film this was).

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti
Stars: Blanche Bernis, Nina Chousvalowa, Philippe Hériat
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Erwin Splettstößer, Brigitte Borchert, Wolfgang von Waltershausen
Manhatta (1921)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

This groundbreaking silent documentary captures the beauty and majesty of the New York City in its streets, skyscrapers, bridges, rail yards and harbors.

Directors: Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Thomas Schadt
Mother (1926)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Film Version Of Gorki's Great Story Of The 1905 Revolution

Director: Vsevolod Pudovkin
Stars: Vera Baranovskaya, Nikolay Batalov, Aleksandr Chistyakov
Regen (1929)
Short | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rain falls on a Dutch city.

Directors: Mannus Franken, Joris Ivens
Ménilmontant (1926)
Short | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A couple is brutally murdered in the working-class district of Paris. Later on, the narrative follows the lives of their two daughters, both in love with a Parisian thug and leading them to separate ways.

Director: Dimitri Kirsanoff
Stars: Nadia Sibirskaïa, Yolande Beaulieu, Guy Belmont
Entr'acte (1924)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An absolute dada movie. Somebody gets killed, his coffin gets out of control and after a chase it stops. The person gets out of it and let everybody who followed the coffin dissapear.

Director: René Clair
Stars: Jean Börlin, Inge Frïss, Francis Picabia
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A peasant comes to St. Petersburg to find work. He unwittingly helps in the arrest of an old village friend who is now a labor leader. The unemployed peasant is also arrested and sent to ... See full summary »

Directors: Vsevolod Pudovkin, Mikhail Doller
Stars: Aleksandr Chistyakov, Vera Baranovskaya, Ivan Chuvelyov
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov
Stars: Mikhail Kaufman
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Paul Richter, Margarete Schön, Theodor Loos
Edit

Cast

Uncredited cast:
Paul von Hindenburg Paul von Hindenburg ... Himself (uncredited)
Edit

Storyline

A train speeds through the country on its way to Berlin, then gradually slows down as it pulls into the station. It is very early in the morning, about 5:00 AM, and the great city is mostly quiet. But before long there are some signs of activity, and a few early risers are to be seen on the streets. Soon the new day is well underway - it's just a typical day in Berlin, but a day full of life and energy. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Germany

Release Date:

13 May 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After showing the movie, Arte TV showed three short trick films previously made by director Walter Ruttmann, whose motives had been used as transitions in the movie (air date: 1 Dec 2007). See more »

Connections

Featured in The Secret Life of Sergei Eisenstein (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Fascinating Classic
11 February 2005 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This fascinating classic never loses its ability to capture the attention and stimulate the imagination of its viewers. The technique is creative and resourceful, the photography is beautiful, and the images are memorable. Everything fits together to make the idea work wonderfully well.

The opening sequence with the train is an exciting and well-conceived way to start the movie. As the pace picks up, the rush of images creates an abstract but very realistic sensation, and this train 'ride' is so enjoyable that you almost don't want it to stop.

But it's when the train reaches the station that the main part of the movie begins, presenting a very interesting stylized portrait of a typical day in Berlin, through a carefully-chosen variety of scenes and sights. It's interesting to see how the train imagery keeps coming back from time to time, and this, along with the obvious passage of time as the day progresses, gives it a coherence that makes it much more than just a collage of interesting images and scenes.

There are many interesting individual sequences, but what makes it such a gem is the way that everything fits together. The overall effect is remarkable, and it really has to be seen to be appreciated.


21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed