Asphalt

1929 [GERMAN]

Crime / Drama / Romance

4
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 1507

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 07, 2021 at 01:11 PM

Director

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
864.1 MB
956*720
No linguistic content 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 1 / 7
1.57 GB
1424*1072
No linguistic content 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 2 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by movingpicturegal 10 / 10

The Dutiful Officer and the Seductive Jewel Thief

Outstanding German silent era crime drama; an early film noir about a young traffic officer who gets involved with a femme fatale he has just arrested for stealing a diamond from a jeweler's shop. This spit-curled, dark-haired beauty attempts to use tears, tricks, Cognac, a pillow-laden couch proportioned like a king-sized bed, and finally a black-laced bodysuit/nightie to seduce our officer into letting her off. These two soon become emotionally involved with each other, but the officer is feeling guilt over shirking his duty to arrest her.

The photography in this film is really excellent - the film as a whole is very visual, with lots of facial close-ups, softly filtered lighting along with shadowy rooms and hallways, and an interesting montage at the beginning of the asphalt streets of Berlin and it's fast moving crowds of people and traffic, all shown with interesting overlapped and angled photography. The actors all give excellent, emotional performances. The actress, Betty Amann, who portrays the thief is especially good here, seducing both our officer and the viewer with just her eyes, showing a great range of emotion in close-up. The print on the DVD of this looks good, the orchestral score is really great and suits this to a tea. I have seen many, many silent films and I would certainly count this one among the best I've seen.

Reviewed by netwallah 10 / 10

An old story, beautifully filmed

Produced by Murnau, and brilliantly directed by May, this silent drama is a masterpiece of cinematography. From the opening montages, with workmen tamping down hot asphalt and the steamrollers behind them and the rain-wet streets shining in the street lights, to the traffic slanting across the street while the young policeman directs traffic, to the change in the lighting at his home after he feels he has fallen—he stands in shadow while down the hall in a halo of light his mother is busy in the kitchen, as if he were observing another world—to the expressionist shadows on the staircases toward the end—it's magnificently conceived and photographed. The lighting effects are astonishing. The story is not profound, involving an upright young traffic policeman falling under the spell of a diamond-thieving courtesan (Bette Amman), and when they are surprised in her bedroom by her regular lover, an older diplomat, who hurls the woman to the ground, the young man defends her, and himself, with the result that the man dies. He goes home and tells his parents he has killed a man, and the father, also a policeman, stands up, puts on his dress helmet, and they go downtown. But the woman intervenes, calmly incriminating herself to save the young man. She is taken away to prison, but the young man says he will wait for her, and she looks at him with eyes brimming with tears, and a smile. Amman has impossibly big dark eyes and a helmet of bobbed, curly hair. Her cloche hats give her head a sculptural look, and she also moves sometimes with astonishing sensual power, as when she throws herself on the young policeman, winding her arms around his neck, her toes clinging to his boot-tops, her huge luminous eyes inches from his. In the early part of the film she is hard and manipulative, but at the end she has been shaken by real feeling and humanized. Okay, it's an old story, riddled with cliché, but in this treatment it works, largely because the film is so beautifully shot.

Reviewed by goblinhairedguy 8 / 10

marvelous visual & thematic template

Joe May's "Asphalt" is not as well remembered as the other masterpieces of German silent expressionist cinema, possibly due to the lack of immortals in the cast and its decidedly commercial scenario. But it certainly deserves a mention alongside the great works of Lang, Pabst, Murnau, et al. The cop-seduced-by-the-sexy-crook plot is the prototype for many a great (and not-so-great) film noir to come, and the seduction scene certainly packs a punch. Like most films of the time, it eventually descends into melodrama, but Gunther Rittau's remarkably mobile and probing camera is so skillful in revealing the characters' thoughts and lending pathos to their plight that he and the director transcend the clichés in the manner of Stahl and Ophuls, with some Langian irony peeking through at times. The opening profile of the city is a justly famed visual tour-de-force, but the stark, expressionist compositions that highlight the climax are just as striking and iconic. May never made the big time in Hollywood, but spun a few good programmers for the B picture mill.

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