Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday) 1930

People on Sunday (German: Menschen am Sonntag) is a 1930 German silent drama film directed by Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer from a screenplay by Robert and Curt Siodmak. The film follows a group of residents of Berlin on a summer’s day during the interwar period. Hailed as a work of genius, it is a pivotal film in the development of German cinema and Hollywood. The film features the talents of Eugen Schüfftan (cinematography), Billy Wilder (story) and Fred Zinnemann (cinematography assistant).

The film is subtitled “a film without actors” and was filmed on Sundays in the summer of 1929. The actors were amateurs whose day jobs were those that they portrayed in the film—the opening titles inform the audience that these actors have all returned to their normal jobs by the time of the film’s release in February 1930. They were part of a collective of young Berliners who wrote and produced the film on a shoestring. This lightly scripted, loosely observational work of New Objectivity became a surprise hit.

 

 

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