New on Video – ‘Sunrise’


Scenario by Carl Mayer, from an original theme by Hermann Sudermann

Directed by F.W. Murnau

USA, 1927

William Fox had seen Faust, Nosferatu, and The Last Laugh, and on the basis of these German masterworks, he brought their creator, F.W. Murnau, to Hollywood. What he got was a truly distinct cinematic vision, which was what he had in mind: something to set a few Fox features apart from the other studios’ output. What he probably didn’t expect was just how much of that “artsy” European touch he was going to get with Murnau on contract. Were American audiences going to go for this type of movie, with its symbolism, melodious structure, and overtly self-conscious style? At any rate, Murnau’s first picture at Fox was one to remember. Sunrise, from 1927, is one of the greatest of all films. It is a touching, beautiful, and artistically accomplished movie, one of the best ever made,
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Sound On Sight’s Best Films Ever Made

With the notion of film canonization once again at issue, we thought it might be an appropriate occasion to check in on our staff’s collective opinion of the greatest films of all time. We had no idea what to expect; our contributors come from all over the world and come from vastly different backgrounds and occupations. The results were, appropriately, eclectic, ranging from acknowledged cornerstones to contemporary classics.

A few facts worth throwing in: with five films appearing, Orson Welles is the most frequently-cited director, followed by Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock and Akira Kurosawa; the newest film to merit an appearance was Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds; animated films made a dent, particularly Toy Story and Snow White; several shorts managed to find their way in, as well.

The list, along with some individual writers’ thoughts on the entries that make up the Top 10, follow including special mention of
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MovieRetriever's 100 Greatest Movies: #34 Sunrise

Jan 11, 2011

The plot of Sunrise was adapted to Hollywood conventions from a naturalistic novella by Hermann Sudermann. It is wrong, however, to assume the changes were all for the bad, as so many critics have done. The film's plot is neither hopelessly sentimental nor melodramatic. It is true that Carl Mayer and F. W. Murnau, with a free hand from the studio, changed the tragic ending of the novella to a happy one for the film. This change can be viewed as an improvement upon Sudermann's gratuitously ironic ending of having the young husband's death ...Read more at
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The Song Of Songs – Marlene Dietrich – d: Rouben Mamoulian

The Song of Songs (1933) Direction: Rouben Mamoulian Screenplay: Samuel Hoffenstein, Leo Birinsky; from Hermann Sudermann’s novel and Edward Sheldon’s play Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Brian Aherne, Lionel Atwill, Alison Skipworth, Hardie Albright, Helen Freeman In her first American film without the guidance of Joseph von Sternberg, Marlene Dietrich was definitely up to the acting challenge of Rouben Mamoulian‘s The Song of Songs. Not only are there some fine performances in this 1933 Mamoulian effort, but the screenplay by Leo Birinsky and Samuel Hoffenstein, taken from both Hermann Sudermann‘s novel and Edward Sheldon‘s play, is mature and compelling. In The Song of Songs, Dietrich plays Lily Czepanek, a naive country girl who goes to live in Berlin after her father dies. Once there, she works in her Aunt’s book store and discovers the world. The sculptor Waldow (played by Brian Aherne), lives upstairs and notices Lily’s unspoiled beauty.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

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