Criminal investigation -- Germany -- Berlin -- Drama, Female offenders -- Germany -- Berlin -- Drama, Police -- Germany -- Berlin -- Drama, Theft -- Germany -- Berlin -- Drama



Albert Steinrück, Betty Amann, Else Heller, Gustav Fröhlich,

Often overshadowed by his contemporaries like Ernst Lubitsch or F. W. Murnau, the German Expressionist director Joe May is most widely recognized for two things: helping Fritz Lang enter the film business, and directing the 1929 city-symphony proto-noir Asphalt. The film’s classic noir plot—a gorgeous petty thief seduces a straitlaced cop, and soon both are over their heads in trouble—plays out in a whirl of Berlin traffic, dizzying camerawork, rapid-fire editing, and Expressionist set designs and lighting. A technical triumph, Asphalt was one of the silent era’s last hurrahs, and a summation of German Expressionist style.

Jason Sanders
  • Joe May
  • Hans Székely
  • Rolf E. Vanloo
  • Günther Rittau
  • Silent
  • with German intertitles and English e-titling; music track
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 94 mins
  • Murnau-Stiftung

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

View Asphalt documents  

Asphalt (program note), London Film Festival, Clyde Jeavons, 2007

Silent film : Asphalt (program note), Berlin and Beyond, 2005

Asphalt (program note), National Film Theatre (London, England), David Shipman, 1985

Asphalt (review), Variety, Waly., 1930

'Asphalt' (review), Variety, C. Hooper Trask, 1929

Asphalt (credits), Frieda Grafe

Asphalt (book excerpt)

Dr. Mabuse the gambler (distributor materials), Kino International Corporation

Displaying 8 of 8 publicly available documents.

View all Asphalt documentation on CineFiles.