The Crowd

Ein Mensch der Masse
Born on July 4, 1900, John Sims has a bright future – or at least so his father believes at the time. But in fact, John leads a very average life working in a vast bullpen office in New York. He meets Mary, they marry, and they have two children – a boy and a girl. But while people around him are climbing the ladder, John is stalled in place. When fate strikes and his young daughter has a fatal accident, John breaks down completely … The interest in the “simple man” that King Vidor evinced so compellingly in The Big Parade is directed in this, his second great masterpiece, at survival in civilian life. At the whims of the Molochian metropolis, the protagonist finds peace only in nature. Represented in Bardelys the Magnificent by a rowboat ride, and in La Bohème by a picnic at a pond, in this film it is Niagara Falls that represents a world far from the norms of assembly-line offices and the requisite 2.5 children. In one especially famous shot, the camera moves up the façade of a skyscraper, with a near-seamless fade into the oversized office where John works. With footage of New York’s urban canyons shot with a hidden camera, The Crowd anticipates the neo-realism of the 1940s.
by King Vidor
with Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach, Estelle Clark, Daniel G. Tomlinson, Dell Henderson, Lucy Beaumont, Freddie Burke Frederick, Alice Mildred Puter
USA 1928 English intertitles 102’ Black/White


  • Eleanor Boardman
  • James Murray
  • Bert Roach
  • Estelle Clark
  • Daniel G. Tomlinson
  • Dell Henderson
  • Lucy Beaumont
  • Freddie Burke Frederick
  • Alice Mildred Puter


Director King Vidor
Screenplay King Vidor, John V. A. Weaver
Story King Vidor
Cinematography Henry Sharp
Editing Hugh Wynn
Art Director Cedric Gibbons, A. Arnold Gillespie
Costumes André-ani

Produced by

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (Loew’s, Inc.) (King Vidor’s production)

Additional information

Print: Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Hamburg

King Vidor

Filmography (selection)

1919 The Turn in the Road; Lost film 1925 The Big Parade (Die große Parade) 1928 The Crowd (Ein Mensch der Masse) 1929 Hallelujah 1934 Our Daily Bread (Der letzte Alarm) 1938 The Citadel 1940 Northwest Passage (Nordwest-Passage) 1947 Duel in the Sun (Duell in der Sonne) 1949 The Fountainhead (Ein Mann wie Sprengstoff) 1956 War and Peace (Krieg und Frieden) 1959 Solomon and Sheba (Salomon und die Königin von Saba)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020