17 user 6 critic

Manhatta (1921)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Short | 1921 (USA)
This groundbreaking silent documentary captures the beauty and majesty of the New York City in its streets, skyscrapers, bridges, rail yards and harbors.


Charles Sheeler (uncredited), Paul Strand (uncredited)
1 win. See more awards »




Morning reveals New York harbor, the wharves, the Brooklyn Bridge. A ferry boat docks, disgorging its huddled mass. People move briskly along Wall St. or stroll more languorously through a cemetery. Ranks of skyscrapers extrude columns of smoke and steam. In plain view. Or framed, as through a balustrade. A crane promotes the city's upward progress, as an ironworker balances on a high beam. A locomotive in a railway yard prepares to depart, while an arriving ocean liner jostles with attentive tugboats. Fading sunlight is reflected in the waters of the harbor... The imagery is interspersed with quotations from Walt Whitman, who is left unnamed. Written by David Steele

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short


Not Rated

Did You Know?


Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 1995. Digitally restored after four years of work in 2009, using the only known 35mm print to exist, which was heavily damaged by neglect and improper storage. The original negative is presumed lost. See more »


Title Card - Walt Whitman: "City of the world - for all races are here, City of tall facades of marble and iron, Proud and passionate city."
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Featured in The Secret Life of Sergei Eisenstein (1987) See more »

User Reviews

highrise construction work
16 March 2021 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's an 11 minute silent short of Manhattan cityscape. It talks a lot about building and skyscrapers. Along with a variety of city life, it does follow some construction. It's missing the 1st POV on walking the steel beams. I don't know how heavy was the camera but they could have given it to a construction worker so that he could film high up. I need that sense of vertigo. I guess they do have to hand crank the camera but construction workers are really coordinated. They do obviously film from some rooftops or high windows to get the high vantage point. It's not the same thing. The construction of each film frame looks very artistic. This looks really good. I just need the high beam walk for it to be perfect.

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Release Date:

1921 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mannahatta See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Film Arts Guild See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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