An absolute masterpiece of Murnau. Undoubtedly, one of the best romantic dramas of the first decades of the century.


Sunrise won the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Picture at the 1st Academy Awards in 1929. Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in the film (she also won for her performances in 1927's 7th Heaven and 1928's Street Angel). The film's legacy has endured, and it is now widely considered a masterpiece and one of the greatest films ever made. Many have called it the greatest film of the silent era. In 1989, Sunrise was one of the 25 films selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The Academy Film Archive preserved Sunrise in 2004.

A country man is seduced by the charms of a city woman who succeeds in convincing him to get rid of his wife. 

In this film, Murnau manages to deal with subjects of great importance, such as the differences between the city and the countryside, love, human weakness, forgiveness, revenge...

Murnau was invited by William Fox to make an Expressionist film in Hollywood. The resulting film features enormous stylized sets that create an exaggerated and fairy-tale world; the city street set alone reportedly cost over US$200,000 to build and was re-used in many subsequent Fox productions.

In this film, Murnau manages to deal with subjects of great importance, such as the differences between the city and the countryside, love, human weakness, forgiveness, revenge... 

The Soundtrack

Premiered in Cologne (Germany) in 2015, Caspervek's Soundtrack for "Sunrise" has been one of the most performed by the band over the years. 

The score attempts to stylistically separate the three main characters. Thus, the appearances of the woman from the city are accompanied by a blues rhythm, while the wife's leitmotif is a lyrical theme, inspired by the great Hollywood soundtracks of the 1940s. All of this is supported by moments of electronic music, the use of sounds from field recordings and the presence of musical moments from different genres, such as swing or folk.


Episode

Details

  • Director

    F. W. Murnau

  • Writer

    Carl Mayer

  • Runtime

    94 min

  • Year

    1927

  • Country

    USA

  • Company

    Fox Film Corporation


Cast

George O'Brien

Janet Gaynor

Margaret Livingston


Related films