People on Sunday

Years before they became major players in Hollywood, a group of young German filmmakers—including eventual noir masters Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer and future Oscar winners Billy Wilder and Fred Zinnemann—worked together on the once-in-a-lifetime collaboration People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag). This effervescent, sunlit silent, about a handful of city dwellers (a charming cast of nonprofessionals) enjoying a weekend outing, offers a rare glimpse of Weimar-era Berlin. A unique hybrid of documentary and fictional storytelling, People on Sunday was both an experiment and a mainstream hit that would influence generations of film artists around the world.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, created in collaboration with the EYE Film Institute Netherlands
  • Two scores: a silent-era-style score by the Mont Alto Orches­tra and a modern one by Elena Kats-Chernin, performed by the Czech Film Orchestra, both presented as uncompressed stereo soundtracks on the Blu-ray edition
  • Weekend am Wannsee, Gerald Koll’s 2000 documentary about the film, featuring interviews with star Brigitte Borchert and writer Curt Siodmak
  • Ins Blaue hinein, a thirty-six-minute short from 1931 by People on Sunday cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Noah Isenberg and reprints by scriptwriter Billy Wilder and director Robert Siodmak

New cover by F. Ron Miller

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, created in collaboration with the EYE Film Institute Netherlands
  • Two scores: a silent-era-style score by the Mont Alto Orches­tra and a modern one by Elena Kats-Chernin, performed by the Czech Film Orchestra, both presented as uncompressed stereo soundtracks on the Blu-ray edition
  • Weekend am Wannsee, Gerald Koll’s 2000 documentary about the film, featuring interviews with star Brigitte Borchert and writer Curt Siodmak
  • Ins Blaue hinein, a thirty-six-minute short from 1931 by People on Sunday cinematographer Eugen Schüfftan
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Noah Isenberg and reprints by scriptwriter Billy Wilder and director Robert Siodmak

New cover by F. Ron Miller

People on Sunday
Cast
Erwin Splettstösser
Himself (taxi driver)
Brigitte Borchert
Herself (record seller)
Wolfgang von Waltershausen
Himself (wine seller)
Christl Ehlers
Herself (extra in films)
Annie Schreyer
Herself (model)
Kurt Gerron
Himself
Valeska Gert
Herself
Heinrich Gretler
Himself
Ernö Verebes
Herself
Credits
Director
Robert Siodmak
Director
Edgar G. Ulmer
Produced by
Heinrich Nebenzal
Produced by
Edgar G. Ulmer
Photography
Eugen Schüfftan
Script
Billy Wilder
From a reportage by
Kurt Siodmak
Cinematography assistance
Fred Zinnemann
Lighting technician
Moriz Seeler

From The Current

Three Reasons: People on Sunday
People on Sunday: Young People Like Us
People on Sunday: Young People Like Us

Shot in Berlin on the eve of the Great Depression with almost no budget, an equally modest cast of amateur actors, a relatively untested, unknown crew, and no major studio backing, the late silent film People on Sunday (1930) has a production history…

By Noah Isenberg

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The Sun on Their Faces: One Scene from People on Sunday

One Scene

The Sun on Their Faces: One Scene from People on Sunday

One of the most memorable sequences in the silent classic People on Sunday explores the experience of being photographed and the tension between still and moving images.

By Imogen Sara Smith

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People on Sunday in Washington, D.C.

Repertory Picks

People on Sunday in Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery of Art presents the 1930 silent film, an exuberant ode to Weimar Berlin, with live musical accompaniment.

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