The Crowd

Live Piano Accompaniment by Yakov Gubanov
Screening on Film
Directed by King Vidor.
With James Murray, Eleanor Boardman, Bert Roach.
US, 1928, 35mm, black & white, silent, 104 min.
Print source: HFA

A is for American Tragedy

Born on July 4, 1900, John Sims seems destined for a charmed life until a series of unfortunate events quickly changes his fate. As he struggles to make a life for himself and his family amidst the harsh realities of corporate America, he is forced to succumb to the mundane routine of office life. Released on the eve of the Great Depression, Vidor’s sharp social commentary raises questions about both the dominance of industrialization and the rise of the modern metropolis. Although strongly influenced by the German Expressionist works of Murnau and Lang, The Crowd is notable for its extensive location shooting in New York City (including hidden camera shots) and its naturalistic visual style, both of which produce a vivid portrait of the city and its social stratification.

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Cinema A–Z: Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive