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The Crowd film image; goofy group of people sitting on floor

The Crowd: Live Score by Chris Gestrin

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Maybe the greatest of all American silent films, King Vidor’s masterpiece — here screening with a never-before-heard improvised jazz score performed by multiple Juno-winner Chris Gestrin — keys into the faultlines at the heart of the American Dream (and did so just on the brink of the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression). John is born on the Fourth of July, 1900 — an auspicious date at the dawn of what will be known as the American Century. Arriving in New York City as a young man, he’s determined to make a name for himself. He takes a wife — Mary — they have kids. But success remains elusive. And then tragedy strikes…

The Crowd is in many ways a simple fable about the common man. But Vidor’s artistry insists that the struggles of an ordinary Joe — or John — can be as compelling, and as worthy of our empathy, as those of a king, a champion, or any other hero… perhaps even more so, as most of us fall into the same category. Vidor cast an unknown extra, James Murray, as his protagonist, and was rewarded with a performance of remarkable depth and pathos. Yet within ten years Murray would be dead, a suspected suicide, after succumbing to alcoholism and destitution. The film’s mixture of realism (Vidor shot with a hidden camera on New York streets, anticipating neo-realism by more than a decade) and expressionism remains impressive, no matter that directors as different as Billy Wilder, Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica admitted to stealing from it over the years.

About the Band: The Chris Gestrin Organ Trio
Chris Gestrin – Organ/keyboards
Joe Poole – Drums
Myles Bigelow – Percussion


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Thanks to


King Vidor


James Murray, Eleanor Boardman, Bert Roach, Estelle Clark

Country of Origin




98 min

Book Tickets

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Chris Gestrin headshot

Chris Gestrin

As a jazz artist, Gestrin has performed on and off the stage not only with his great Canadian colleagues, but with a who’s who of the Jazz world. Gary Peacock, David ’Fat Head’ Newman, Kenny Wheeler, Jerry Granelli, Duke Robillard, to name a few. In the more mainstream music world, Chris has had the pleasure of working with a large number of prominent artists including Randy Bachman, Bryan Adams, D.O.A., Bob Rock, Paul Rodgers, Colin James, Jann Arden, Motley Crue, K-OS, Swollen Members, Jim Byrnes, Steve Dawson, Nickelback, Loudon Wainwright III, Long John Baldry and Jeff Healey.

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King Vidor, John V.A. Weaver


Henry Sharp

Original Music

Carl Davis

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