Despite lacking the necessary 25 dollars, Czech immigrant Stefan Dangosbiblichek manages to wrangle his way through Ellis Island in 1898 to enter the United States. He walks from New York to Minnesota, where he gets work in an iron mine under the name Steve Dangos. Schoolteacher Anna, his later wife, teaches him to read. Moving to Chicago, he works his way up to foreman of a steel mill. Dangos ultimately achieves great wealth as an automobile manufacturer in Detroit, albeit at the expense of workers’ rights. That prompts his youngest son, Theodore Roosevelt Dangos, to take up the baton and fight to organise the labourers in his father’s factory … King Vidor was a third-generation immigrant; his family originally came from Hungary. With its very first shot, the film portrays the US as the paradise at the end of the rainbow, although most of the work is done by immigrants. Vidor’s ode to the value of hard work and industry – a mixture of family chronicle and economic documentary – covers the period up until the attack on Pearl Harbor. An American Romance is the quintessential tale of advancement – from strip mining to production, from making bombers to defending the American dream.
by King Vidor
with Brian Donlevy, Ann Richards, Walter Abel, John Qualen, Stephen McNally, Mary McLeod, Robert Lowell, Fred Brady, Billy Lechner, Jerry Shane
USA 1944 English 121’ Colour, 35 mm


  • Brian Donlevy
  • Ann Richards
  • Walter Abel
  • John Qualen
  • Stephen McNally
  • Mary McLeod
  • Robert Lowell
  • Fred Brady
  • Billy Lechner
  • Jerry Shane


DirectorKing Vidor
ScreenplayHerbert Dalmas, William Ludwig
StoryKing Vidor
CinematographyHarold Rosson
EditingConrad A. Nervig
MusicLouis Gruenberg
SoundDouglas Shearer
Art DirectorCedric Gibbons
Assistant DirectorsBert Spurlin, Jack MacKenzie
ProducerKing Vidor

Produced by

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

Additional information

Print: From the collection of the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY

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