Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

[3.5
stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

At IMDB, Sunrise is rated #174 on the Top 250 movies of all time. After reading John Nolte's paean to the movie at Big Hollywood a few months back, I decided to queue it up at Netflix. Good call!

It's a silent movie, made in 1927 Hollywood by famous German director F. W. Murnau. It might not be for everyone's taste, but it's quite accessible. (And don't be fooled by the picture over there, it's black and white.)

The story is quirky and unpredictable. The "two humans" in the subtitle are a farmer and his lovely wife (played by 21-year-old Janet Gaynor, who won an Oscar for it). All is not wedded bliss, however, as the farmer has been seduced by a floozy on an extended holiday from the city. She's kind of a nasty piece of work, suggesting that the farmer murder his wife, sell his farm, and take off to the city with her. She even suggests a detailed plan for the crime.

All that in the first few minutes. Things proceed unpredictably from there, involving a trip to the previously-mentioned city, where many adventures occur. Despite the grim beginnings, there are some funny scenes.

If you're like me, at a number of points you'll find yourself thinking: they did this in 1927? Whoa. The movie also won a cinematography Oscar, in addition to one for "Best Picture, Unique and Artistic Production", an award not given before, or since.

Fun fact: the IMDB has a memorable quotes section for this silent movie.


Last Modified 2012-10-07 7:52 AM EST