The Crowd (1928)
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Critic Reviews for The Crowd
Vidor, playing to that crowd, sternly warns against going it alone.
The camera style owes something to Murnau, but the sense of space -- the vast environments that define and attack his protagonists -- is Vidor's own.
A drab actionless story of ungodly length and apparently telling nothing.
Throughout this subject Mr. Vidor shrewdly avoids the stereotyped conception of setting forth scenes, and in more than one case he uses his camera in an inspired fashion.
The performances are absolutely flawless, and astonishing location work in the busy New York streets (including a giddy tour of Coney Island on a blind date) lends a gritty ring of truth to his intensely human odyssey.
Audience Reviews for The Crowd
A film that still relates to us today. Not a fan of the silent era but this one I could endure. The acting is great and the story is done very well; it touches upon the many struggles that working Americans go through. Wouldn't watch this again, but I enjoyed it.
in the waning years of the silent era, king vidor showed us the dark side of the american dream in a film that still seems daring and modern after 85 years. the archetypal story of john and mary sims is anchored by some stunning camera work and a pair of powerful performances from james murray and eleanor boardman. james murray was plucked from anonymity to star as a man striving to break free from the crowd, the part of a lifetime, in which he performed magnificently. in some ways he never recovered from that experience and was reduced to the life of a homeless alcoholic. legend has it king vidor himself found him panhandling in the streets and offered him a job but murray turned it down. he drowned just a few years later after falling from a pier. what a pity, in this year of 'the artist', that the great american movie still isn't on dvd
King Vidor's The Crowd doesn't spend its time telling you a grand science fiction or horror story, but instead tells the simple tale of a man who becomes part of a family and goes to the edge and back with his family. It sounds very corny, I suppose, but Vidor makes it work so well. The film is full of incredibly visual storytelling and marvelous performances from both Eleanor Boardman (Vidor's wife at the time) and James Murray, who consequently had his only leading role in this film. The sad story about his personal life and how he came to a tragic end outside the confines of the film lends itself to his fantastic performance, and you feel genuine sympathy for him at all times. Sometimes overlooked and underappreciated, The Crowd will pull at your heart strings and keep you interested through every turn. It's a reminder that grand storytelling isn't always necessary and that visuals are always more important than dialogue.
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