7.4/10
1,338
18 user 18 critic

Asphalt (1929)

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 »

Director:

Joe May

Writers:

Joe May (screenplay) (as Fred Majo), Hans Székely (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Albert Steinrück ... Hauptwachtmeister Holk
Else Heller Else Heller ... Frau Holk
Gustav Fröhlich ... Wachtmeister Albert Holk
Betty Amann ... Else Kramer
Hans Adalbert Schlettow ... Konsul Langen
Hans Albers ... Ein Dieb
Arthur Duarte Arthur Duarte
Paul Hörbiger ... Ein Dieb
Trude Lieske Trude Lieske
Karl Platen Karl Platen
Rosa Valetti ... 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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood (2009) See more »

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 maksquibsSee 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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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

None | German

Release Date:

3 May 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asfalto See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universum Film (UFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (restored)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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