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Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
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Sunrise (1927) More at IMDbPro »Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
8.4/10   21,839 votes »
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Down 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Carl Mayer (scenario)
Hermann Sudermann (from an original theme by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Sunrise on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 November 1927 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(94 articles)
Witness Filmmaking's "Sunrise"
 (From JustPressPlay. 4 June 2014, 10:54 AM, PDT)

Our Daily Bread #5
 (From MUBI. 17 March 2014, 8:00 AM, PDT)

Oscars: 10 Best Pictures That Actually Were The Best
 (From Obsessed with Film. 12 February 2014, 8:18 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
If you only see one film this century... See more (172 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

George O'Brien ... The Man

Janet Gaynor ... The Wife

Margaret Livingston ... The Woman From the City
Bodil Rosing ... The Maid
J. Farrell MacDonald ... The Photographer (as J. Farrell McDonald)
Ralph Sipperly ... The Barber

Jane Winton ... The Manicure Girl
Arthur Housman ... The Obtrusive Gentleman
Eddie Boland ... The Obliging Gentleman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herman Bing ... Streetcar Conductor (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Dance Hall Manager (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Manager of Hair Salon (uncredited)

Sally Eilers ... Woman in Dance Hall (uncredited)

Gibson Gowland ... Angry Driver (uncredited)
Fletcher Henderson ... Performer - Song: 'Tozo' (uncredited)
Thomas Jefferson ... Old Seaman (uncredited)
Bob Kortman ... Villager (uncredited)

F.W. Murnau ... Dancer (uncredited)
Barry Norton ... Ballroom Dancer / Kissing Couple (uncredited)
Robert Parrish ... Boy (uncredited)
Sally Phipps ... Ballroom Dancer / Kissing Couple (uncredited)
Harry Semels ... Carnival Gallery Man with Pig (uncredited)
Phillips Smalley ... Head Waiter (uncredited)
Leo White ... Barber (uncredited)
Clarence Wilson ... Money Lender (uncredited)
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Directed by
F.W. Murnau 
 
Writing credits
Carl Mayer (scenario)

Hermann Sudermann (from an original theme by)

Katherine Hilliker (titles) and
H.H. Caldwell (titles)

Produced by
William Fox .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Sheldon Mirowitz (2011)
R.H. Bassett (Los Angeles premiere) (uncredited)
Carli Elinor (Los Angeles premiere) (uncredited)
Erno Rapee (New York premiere) (uncredited)
Hugo Riesenfeld (1928) (uncredited)
Willy Schmidt-Gentner (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Charles Rosher (photography)
Karl Struss (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Harold D. Schuster (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Rochus Gliese (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Charlie Dudley .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Herman Bing .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Don B. Greenwood .... property master (uncredited)
Alfred Metscher .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Edgar G. Ulmer .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Gordon Wiles .... art department head (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Frank D. Williams .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Max M. Autrey .... still photographer (uncredited)
Hal Carney .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Frank Powolny .... still photographer (uncredited)
Stuart Thompson .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Maurice Baron .... orchestrator: Erno Rapee score (uncredited)
 
Other crew
William Fox .... presents
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" - USA (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
94 min | Germany:106 min
Country:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Movietone) (musical score and sound effects) | Silent (alternate version)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Germany:6 | Portugal:17 (director's cut) | South Korea:15 (2004) | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video re-rating) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Sunrise (1927) was released a month after The Jazz Singer (1927). Although feted by the critics and containing a then highly progressive use of sound, it failed to connect with audiences who were now clamoring for films where the actors spoke in them.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the Farmer is holding his son, he sets him on his Wife's lap twice.See more »
Quotes:
The Man:[pleading to his wife] Don't be afraid of me!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008) (TV)See more »

FAQ

Is "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" based on a novel?
Was "Sunrise" the first talkie?
See more »
105 out of 123 people found the following review useful.
If you only see one film this century..., 14 July 2003
Author: Benoît A. Racine (benoit-3) from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I finally got a hold of the 'Sunrise' DVD, which is only available in English-speaking America (for free) by buying three titles of the excellent Fox Studio Classics line and sending in proofs of purchase. I urge everyone to get this DVD either by sending your three coupons to the promotion or by dealing with someone in the province of Québec since it appears to be the only place in North America where this contest is void and one can buy it directly off the shelf.

I have heard about 'Sunrise' all my life but the closest I ever got to see a part of it was, as a quote, in Martin Scorsese's 2-DVD made-for-the-BBC lecture with illustrations 'A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies' (1995). Nobody told me the following:

It is a pioneering, overwhelming piece of cinema that still manages to move me (ME!) after I thought I had seen everything. It is a profoundly human film which made me cry for 15 minutes solid in its first part (a reconciliation scene that has to be seen to be believed). This film has more special effects than Terminator 3, all in the service of a thoroughly poetic, bucolic, pastoral, personal, contemplative, idiosyncratic, lyrical, late romantic and expressionist vision of humanity. Its love story, poignant and comic elements have inspired, in no specific order, René Clair ('Le Million'), Jean Vigo ('L'Atalante', 'Zéro de conduite'), Charlie Chaplin (all his subsequent films), Fellini ('La Strada', 'Nights of Cabiria') and even James Cameron ('Titanic').

The camera is extremely mobile (more so than in most of today's films, except maybe The Matrix) and the acting is superb. I finally understand why Janet Gaynor was such a big star and a big deal in her time. Her co-star George O'Brien would be hunk-o-rama of the month at the box office today if he was still around. Margaret Livingston (who she?) is also quite realistic as a believably enticing city girl vamp (of modest means) who tries to lure the hero away from his deserving wife.

The DVD has more extras than a Criterion issue, including a tentative reconstruction of Murnau's missing American masterpiece 'The Four Devils' (a circus love story) and the entire shooting scripts of both 'Sunrise' and 'The Four Devils'.

'Sunrise' is presented with two soundtracks: the original (mono) Movietone (i.e. optical track) anonymous composite soundtrack cobbled together from several sources (think Wagner's Siegfried Idyll) and a newly written and recorded (stereo) score with all-original themes, that closely follows the original in spirit but not in melody.

Both soundtracks try to add an intimate, poetic dimension to the film, which is subtitled 'A Song of Two Humans'. The music is an integral part of the experience as the film is conceived as a tone poem and, as such (my theory) is a kind of transcription for the masses of Schoenberg's 1900 string ensemble tone poem 'Verklärte Nacht' (Transfigured Night), a late-Romantic/early expressionist attempt to describe musically the 'truly profound and authentic' relationship between a man and a woman who have problems (the music follows a poem of the era).

Both soundtracks succeed admirably, my preference going to the new one, despite the original's polish, historical value and magnificent preservation. And that would be because, although in the silent era there was no stigma attached to accompanying silent movies with a score made up of public domain and rather recognizable pieces, as long as they fit the mood, times have changed ('2001, A Space Odyssey' notwithstanding) and this practice is more distracting than anything for a contemporary, moderately educated spectator.

Murnau had very highbrow ambitions but his film is totally clear and populist and made to reach the widest popular audience thanks to the incredible sums of money and artistry that Fox poured in the project. 20th Century Fox basically imported a genius from Germany, gave him a ton of money and told him: 'Make us a movie that will be the most prestigious ever made in this town and that will win us the first Oscar'. And that's just what he did!

Needless to say, that was a long time before Rupert Murdoch took over the Fox Corporation...

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