Born on the fourth of July, 1900, the future holds unlimited potential for newborn John Sims. But dreams soon fade with the death of his father when John is but a lad. Like many before him, John sets out to make his mark in New York City, but ends up a faceless worker (#137) in a large office of a large business. Still he is happy with his fate and soon meets a young woman named Mary on a blind double date. Things take their course and they soon marry and live in a small apartment. Soon John is bickering with Mary and finds that he has no love for the in-laws. When the marriage looks like a bust, he finds that Mary is with child and he stays. After 5 years, he has a son and a daughter and the same dead end job. When tragedy strikes, John must find the conviction to continue or lose what little he has left. —IMDb
King Wallis Vidor (February 8, 1894 – November 1, 1982) was an acclaimed American film director whose career spanned nearly seven decades.
He was born in Galveston, Texas, where he survived the great Galveston Hurricane of 1900. His grandfather, Charles Vidor, was a refugee of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 who settled in Galveston in the early 1850s.
A freelance newsreel cameraman and cinema projectionist, he made his debut as a director in 1913 with Hurricane in Galveston. In Hollywood from 1915, he worked on a variety of film-related jobs before directing a feature film, The Turn in the Road, in 1919. A successful mounting of Peg o’ My Heart in 1922 got him a long term contract with Goldwyn Studios, later to be absorbed into MGM. Three years later he made The Big Parade, among the most acclaimed war films of the silent era, and a tremendous commercial success. This success established him as one of MGM’s top studio directors for the next decade. In 1928, Vidor received… read more
This movie is dark, and heavy, and I love it. It really had it's hand of the pulse of American society, and I think many of it's assertions still hold today, perhaps even on a global scale. The movie is honestly depressing, but is so refreshing to not get a romanticized outlook on life, it's brutally honest. John is the all American, he's gonna be president, he's gonna invent the great thing, but he gets bogged down at the same job forever to feed his family. One of my favorite classic movie elements, a depressing ending with all the characters laughing and smiling, life will go on though, and it will be just as bleak as always. FIVE STARS!!
Big man on MGM campus King Vidor pushed this influential late silent film experiment passed Louis B. Mayer, who wanted a happier ending, to tell a depressing, realistic tale of poverty and overcrowding (and perseverance) in 1920's New York. Sometimes regarded as the last great American silent film of the era.
This week: striking reality & cinema-blending images, Rosenbaum on TIFF, and some naturally occurring companion pieces to Leviathan.
Critic and filmmaker Luc Moullet looks at the tremendous final sequences of two King Vidor films.