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 deliberately chose not to cast any big-name stars in his film, which was a tale of the Everyman. James Murray was a studio extra whom Vidor had bumped into on the studio lot, while Eleanor Boardman was a minor actress (and the director's second wife). See more »
After John sprays himself with milk when opening the bottle, his clothes go from covered with milk to clean from one shot to the next. See more »
Will you put the folding bed in its garage?
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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 »
Like most of the silent tragedies I've seen (and there haven't been many), "The Crowd" was hard to like. That didn't stop it from being a finely directed and acted drama. Like any film from any era that avoids the traps of trend-conscious filmmaking, "The Crowd" was built to last. When you make a movie with a good, solid story and inspire the cast to give brilliant performances, it's difficult to go wrong.
It's not a fun movie -- most of the time we're spent watching James Murray shoot himself in the foot, scene after scene. He's a really pathetic creature, but the director, King Vidor, portrays him and his story without passing judgment.
Worth the price of admission alone, Vidor's eye for detail in old New York City. In a justly famous montage and tracking shot near the beginning, he shows us Gotham so well, and in such great detail, that hardly a director since has been able to match him. His nomination of Best Director at the first Academy Awards was completely deserved (and his loss to Frank Borzage for the creaky "7th Heaven" was, arguably, the first of Oscar's major blunders.)
It's a bleak world view, that's for sure, but it keeps your attention and fills your eye.
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