Directed by King Vidor • 1928 • United States
Starring James Murray, Eleanor Boardman, Bert Roach
King Vidor’s ode to the everyman is one of the crowning achievements of silent cinema. Born on the Fourth of July in the year 1900, John Sims (James Murray) believes himself destined for greatness when he heads to New York City at the age of twenty-one—but he soon finds himself merely part of the faceless crowd, an underpaid clerk working in a huge office building and struggling to support a wife (Eleanor Boardman) and children. Strikingly blending Murnau-influenced expressionism with documentary-like location shooting on the streets of New York, Vidor powerfully portrays one man’s journey through the rat race of modern life.