|Directed by||King Vidor|
|Produced by||Irving Thalberg|
|Written by||King Vidor
John V.A. Weaver
|Editing by||Hugh Wynn|
|Release date(s)||February 18, 1928|
|Running time||104 minutes|
The picture is an influential and acclaimed feature and was nominated for the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production.
In 1989, this film was one of the first 25 films to be selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
They start a family, struggle to cope with marital stress, financial setbacks, and tragedy, all while lost amid the anonymous, pitiless throngs of the big city.
The Crowd was conceived and filmed under the artistic vision of famed director King Vidor, who sought the film to be innovative in its story, acting, and cinematography. The film mixes striking visual styles and moving camera cinematography (heavily influenced by German films) with intense, intimate scenes of the family's poignant struggle. Vidor avoided casting big-name stars in the film to attain greater authenticity; Murray was a studio extra, and Boardman was a minor actress and Vidor's second wife.
Vidor's great financial success at MGM in the 1920s allowed him to sell the unusual scenario to production head Irving Thalberg as an experimental film. MGM chief Louis B. Mayer reportedly disliked the film for its bleak subject matter and lack of a happy ending. In fact, several alternate upbeat endings were filmed and previewed at the studio's insistence, but Vidor persevered and the film was released with the original, logical conclusion.
The Crowd was not a great success upon its initial release, but it has been consistently hailed as one of the greatest and most enduring American silent films. The Crowd was a remarkably groundbreaking film, but it was released just as the Great Depression and the arrival of sound films combined to radically change filmmaking. Due to the limitations imposed by early sound filming techniques, the film's moving camera innovations would not be equaled for another decade. Likewise, Depression-era audiences sought escapist entertainment over the stark realism of The Crowd, which filmmakers would not embrace again until after the end of World War II. Director Jean Luc Godard was asked in the 1960s why more films were not made about ordinary people, and his response was "Why remake The Crowd? It has already been done".
Vidor used the John and Mary Sims characters again (with different actors) in his 1934 film Our Daily Bread. He also provided an insightful interview on the making of the film in a segment of the 1980 documentary Hollywood by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill. Vidor wrote an unrealized screenplay based on the tragic life of The Crowd lead actor James Murray, who fell on hard times eerily similar to those of the character for which he is remembered.
-Best Director, Dramatic Picture, (King Vidor)
-Best Picture, Unique and Artistic Production