King Vidor | 98 mins | TV
Late silent-era drama — though you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a comedy until halfway, when the light antics of a young couple in ’20s New York give way to some increasingly dark drama (interesting trivia: seven endings were shot for distributors to choose from, some happy and some sad; all chose sad ones. However, the copy we saw (taped from an ’80s TV showing) had a happy ending).
The first half is gentle but amusing; the sudden shift catches the viewer off-guard, undoubtedly making what follows more effective. The main character is in many ways pretty useless and at least some of the problems that befall him are his own fault, yet his comedic treatment in the first half makes you care for him throughout the second.
If you can accept the shifting styles of an age before genre was rigidly defined, The Crowd is a worthwhile experience.