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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   21,903 votes »
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Up 10% 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:
(96 articles)
Rerelease: Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari Review
 (From HeyUGuys. 29 August 2014, 4:30 AM, PDT)

An Entertaining and Brief 'Detour' Down a Dark Highway
 (From Rope Of Silicon. 28 August 2014, 1:00 PM, PDT)

Witness Filmmaking's "Sunrise"
 (From JustPressPlay. 4 June 2014, 10:54 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Greatest Of The Silent Films See more (173 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:
Director F.W. Murnau wanted Camilla Horn (with whom he had worked in Germany on Faust (1926)) for the part of "The Wife", but she was under contract to the German studio UFA at the time and they refused to loan her out, so the part went to Janet Gaynor.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the Farmer is holding his son, he sets him on his Wife's lap twice.See more »
Quotes:
[opening title cards]
Title Card:This song of the Man and his Wife is of no place and every place; you might hear it anywhere, at any time.
Title Card: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.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Nosferatu (1922)See more »

FAQ

Is "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" based on a novel?
Was "Sunrise" the first talkie?
See more »
55 out of 63 people found the following review useful.
The Greatest Of The Silent Films, 21 July 2004
Author: FlickeringLight from Boerne, TX

I am a big fan of the silent era, especially the German expressionist films, and I would have to say that although there are many great silent films-- Metropolis, Pandora's Box, The Wind, etc.-- this film is my favorite. I feel that it is Murnau's greatest film. While it does not have the social implications of his films such as "Nosferatu" or "Faust," the cinematography, acting, and Murnau's unabashed belief in the power of love helps this film to rise above the rest.

The acting is sterling, with a 21-year-old Janet Gaynor looking incredibly similar to Drew Barrymore, and delivering a layered performance that reveals her character's strong but tenuous emotional state. I suspect that George O'Brien wasn't exactly what Murnau wanted for his lead actor, due to the lengths that Murnau went to to extract O'Brien's performance, but credit is due the actor for a performance which was brave at times and never ego-centric.

Murnau's use of symbolism and metaphor are suppressed compared to the standards of his other films. In this film their use is more to augment the story rather than actually being the story under the narrative. One example is the fish nets waving the wind as O'Brien returns home from his tryst with the dark seductress, a terrific metaphor for his entrapment and helplessness.

The story itself is one that can appeal to many audiences, as it has its fair share of melodrama, comedy, sap, and suspense. I saw this film with my 17-year-old nephew, who is your typical disaffected digital generation teenager, and he was awful quiet during the dramatic sequences and awful loud during the comic portions. It is amazing how I my own emotions were manipulated by the film without Murnau ever being manipulative or obvious.

The true star of this film, of course, is the cinematography. It is simply awesome. I have done a lot of work with old film cameras, and I have no clue how Strauss managed some of the shots he did. Murnau was one of the first directors, if not the first, to use camera motion during a film. This was no small feat in the days where the camera was not motorized and had to be hand-cranked. The camera movement is amazing. There is a shot where O'Brien moves through the swamp, with wet, muddy, and uneven ground, to meet the woman from the city, and the camera tracks along with him. It looks like a steadicam shot! No track could have performed this shot as it exists, and I have no explanation on how he did this other than that he must have suspended the camera from the ceiling of the studio. Shooting a swamp scene with fog and a full moon in a studio is a feat in itself. There are also other feats of cinematography. There are several shots where the city is the typical cardboard cutout, there are people milling around in the street, yet the trains and trolleys are obviously models. HOW????? If you are able to get the DVD with the cinematography commentary, it is well worth the investment.

To the king of the silents... 10/10

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