Friday, February 19, 2010

THE CROWD (1928)- Eleanor Boardman.

The Crowd (1928) Silent Film. Cast: James Murray and Eleanor Boardman. Director: King Vidor.

John Sims always believed that he would some day become important. Unfortunately, John's father, died young, changing John's future and his plans. By twenty one, John is working as a clerk for the Atlas Insurance Co. One of Bert's friends, sets him up on a blind date with a girl named Mary. After spending the evening with Mary, John asks her to marry him. She agrees and they honeymoon at Niagara Falls. John promises Mary an beautiful home "when his ship comes in,". On Christmas Eve, Mary's deaf mother and her two well to do brothers , who do not think very highly of John, visit them for dinner. When John leaves to pick up some liquor, he comes home drunk, long after everyone has gone home. Mary forgives him, but by April they are arguing about everything.

However, they make up when Mary tells John that she is expecting a baby. In October, when a baby boy is born, John tells Mary that this is what he needed to make him try harder to become "somebody." Five years pass and a baby girl is born to the family. so far, John has received a small raise in pay and it is clear that he may never full fill his dreams. Mary tells him that she does not believe that his "ship" is ever going to come in. Will John ever get the break he needs to find a brighter future?

Even though I found the movie very sad. I could not help rooting for John even though he gets into one mess after another. Girlfriend/wife played by Eleanor Boardman stands by her man, I thought her performance was amazing. One of my favorite scenes is John's office, showing hundreds of desks in rows. You really get the feeling of being just another face in 'the crowd'.

Another thing that caught my eye was the background scenery. It is fascinating to see how people lived in the 1920's. Men wore suits and hats, ladies wore dresses. It was a different time. A time where manners were still important..


King Vidor filmed many scenes in New York City streets using real crowds instead of extras, real buses and trains, and even real traffic cops. In one scene, a police officer is looking toward the camera, telling someone to "move along". In fact, he was actually telling Vidor and his film crew to move along.

King Vidor shot nine different endings before settling on the one used in the film, because MGM did not like films without a happy ending.

Eleanor Boardman, was named by Goldwyn Pictures as their "New Face of 1922,". After several wonderful supporting roles, she played the lead in Souls for Sale (1923). She appeared in less than forty films during her career, best known for her performance in Vidor's The Crowd(1928).
Video interview of KING VIDOR making the movie THE CROWD (1929.)


  1. Dawn I've only seen a few of Kings Slients. I'm a huge fan of his 1940 film Comrade X with Clark Gable, Heddy Lamar,Eve Arden, and the wonderful Felix Bressart, who steals the film.

  2. Paul, I will check out Comrade X. I'm not sure if I have seen it.

  3. Dawn, If You have Seen Comrade X you would remember it.LOL


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.