by Allan Fish
(USA 1928 107m) DVD6 (China only)
A little man the world will hear from
p King Vidor d King Vidor w King Vidor, John A.Weaver, Harry Behn ph Henry Sharp ed Hugh Wynn m Carl Davis art Cedric Gibbons, Arnold Gillespie
Eleanor Boardman (Mary Simm), James Murray (John Simm), Bert Roach (Bert), Daniel G.Tomlinson (Jim), Dell Henderson (Dick), Lucy Beaumont (mother), Freddie Burke Frederick (Junior), Alice Mildred Puter (daughter),
One of the last classic silent films of the American cinema, King Vidor’s unquestioned masterpiece is probably the finest insight of its day into the daily rigour of modern urban living, a film whose visual and technical advances were revolutionary to the point of since becoming clichés, but which still stands fresh to this day.
We begin in 1900 on Independence Day, where John Simm is born to happy parents, but twelve years later his father is killed in an accident and his son is told to be brave, as his father would have wished. We next see him in 1921, slaving with thousands of others behind an office desk and living only for the five o’clock bell to get home and study. However, one night he is persuaded by his friend, Bert, to go out with two women friends. Paired off with Mary, John falls in love with her and, following a night at Coney Island, he proposes and they marry. At first things are idyllic, with a honeymoon at Niagara Falls and two children, but when their daughter is killed after being run over by a lorry, John cracks up and things begin to enter a downward spiral. (more…)