(Review originally written at 15 November 2007)

Despite that not that many people still know him now, King Vidor really was one of the best directors of the previous century. He made lots of unforgettable movies and masterpieces, in at least 3 decades.

This is a real character movie and in its sort it's one of the earliest and also definitely one of the most effective ones. It's simply a movie about life and common people, with their struggles and imperfection. Therefor the drama in the movie also feels very realistic and doesn't ever get melodramatic, as often would be the case in dramatic movies from the '20's. It makes "The Crowd" a very powerful and effective movie to watch. Like everyone they try to do things different and better than everyone else but in the end they are just part of the crowd, restrained by their own personalities and imperfection. The movie isn't afraid to show how life and most marriage really are.

But surely the movie also has lots of humor in it, in a more subtle and sweet way. It actually is a very sweet movie to watch, which is mainly thanks to the two main actors Eleanor Boardman and James Murray, who form a great, sweet and realistic couple. it provides the movie with lots of warm moments, so really this movie is not as heavily depressively loaded as its reputation and people make you believe it is.

The movie is greatly directing and constructed, with a nice professional look all over it and with some surprisingly beautiful and innovative camera-work at times. Some sequences really stand out, through its innovativeness.

It's also of course interesting and fun to see the New York of the late '20's. King Vidor shot lots of exterior shots of New York and it shows an early crowded 'modern' metropolis, still of course much different from the one it is today.

A really great early dramatic masterpiece from King Vidor!


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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