In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
In this fable-morality subtitled "A Song of Two Humans", the "evil" temptress is a city woman who bewitches farmer Anses and tries to convince him to murder his neglected wife, Indre. Written by
While Sunrise was the first Fox feature film to premiere with a Movietone sound track their 7th Heaven (1927) arrived earlier with a Movietone music track attached even though that film had already played its roadshow with a live score. See more »
When the Farmer is holding his son, he sets him on his Wife's lap twice. See more »
[opening title cards]
This song of the Man and his Wife is of no place and every place; you might hear it anywhere, at any time.
For wherever the sun rises and sets, in the city's turmoil or under the open sky on the farm, life is much the same; sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet.
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This Murnau work comes from the end of the silent era,and the miracle is that it needs nothing:it has everything.There are hardly a dozen of subtitles for a ninety- minute movie,and that's enough.The rest is the actors'sublime performances and Murnau's flawless directing. George O' Brien and Janet Gaynor do not speak,and however,we can hear them,with all our heart ,with all our soul.Their faces reflect what they endure,suffer and enjoy.Because this is not only a drama.Sometimes it turns to a true comedy.For me the scene in the church climaxes the work:the husband,desperate to a fault,and his wife ,who saw her sincere love atrociously betrayed ,"get marry" again and the priest's words will drive you to tears.
Unlike "Nosferatu",which took place in dark places ,and before "tabu" which would be an hymn to the nature -in every sense of the word,and probably the key to WF Murnau's entire canon"-,"Sunrise" is a diurnal movie,beginning with a meeting with the husband and his mistress at the break of dawn,and ending in the deep of the night,but the very last picture brings back sunrise,which epitomizes a new beginning, a new christening,a redemption.And the man ,crying and begging for pardon,it might be Murnau who thought his homosexuality was a crime -Nosferatu might be a metaphor as well,as the hero who abducts a priestess he's in love with in "tabu" -A true auteur opens up in his movies,if we can read between the lines.
Murnau was,along with Fritz Lang,one of the two most influential forces of the expressionism .
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