King Vidor – Our Daily Bread [+Extras] (1934)

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synopsis – AMG:
Unable to secure Hollywood-studio backing for his Depression-era agrarian drama Our Daily Bread, director King Vidor financed the picture himself, with the eleventh-hour assistance of Charles Chaplin. Intended as a sequel to Vidor’s silent classic The Crowd (1928) the film casts Tom Keene and Karen Morley as John and Mary, the roles originated in the earlier film by James Murray and Eleanor Boardman. Unable to make ends meet in the Big City, John and Mary assume control of an abandoned farm, even though they know nothing about tilling the soil. Generous to a fault, the couple opens their property to other disenfranchised Depression victims, and before long they’ve formed a utopian communal cooperative, with everyone pitching together for the common good. Beyond such traditional obstacles as inadequate funding, failed crops and drought, John is deflected from his purpose by sluttish blonde vamp Sally (Barbara Pepper), but he pulls himself together in time to supervise construction of a huge irrigation ditch — a project which consumes the film’s final two reels, and which turns out to be one of the finest and most thrilling sequences that Vidor (or anyone) ever put on film. Continue reading

King Vidor – Truth And Illusion: An Introduction To Metaphysics (1965)

Quote:
“It started when I simply wrote a narration that interested me and challenged myself to fit it to a film, using existing ob­jects in nature, without animation techniques of any kind. I did the photography myself for very little money….It repre­sents an almost abstract attempt to illustrate philosophical thoughts and ideas with strictly photographed—not manufac­tured—images. What, it asks, is truth, and what is illusion? It draws its examples from obvious things like the movies’ il­lusory ‘motion,’ and the way railroad tracks seem to converge to a point on the horizon.

King Vidor” Continue reading

King Vidor – The Crowd (1928)

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large extracts from THIS REVIEW :
Everything’s goin’ to be roses…when my ship comes in,” – John Sims

Most films elevate their protagonist and try to make us believe they are something special. What King Vidor did with The Crowd is make one of the earliest and most influential films of realistic human struggle; a film about a man who was as ordinary as can be. Vidor didn’t believe in having heroes and villains. Instead, he felt we are basically anonymous and our destiny is largely out of our control.
Vidor sold the idea for The Crowd to Irving Thalberg as a sequel to his hit epic 1925 WWI film The Big Parade, which was the first success for newly formed MGM. Both are about battles fought by masses of ordinary people, but The Crowd focuses on just one individual whose struggles are representative of the collective whole.
(…) Continue reading

King Vidor – An American Romance (1944)

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Plot:

Brian Donlevy goes from rags to riches in King Vidor’s ambitious Technicolor ode to hard work, family and the American Dream. Arriving penniless in the United States, Czech immigrant Steve Dangos (Donlevy) soon realizes America truly is the land of opportunity. Starting out in the iron mines of Minnesota, Dangos heads to the steel mills of Chicago, a decision that will earn him wealth and power beyond his wildest dreams – and put him at odds with his workers when they try to unionize. Produced over a two-year period at the then-enormous sum of $3 million, An American Romance is a bold and gripping saga in the Vidor tradition. “No other American director ever matched Vidor’s sense of personal struggle, or the muscular poetry he found to express it” (Tony Rayns, Time Out Film Guide). From Warner Brothers! Continue reading