Was the first and only film to win the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS) 'Best Picture' award in the category of "Artistic Quality of Production" (or "Unique and Artistic Picture"). This was the only year that this award was ever given out.
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.
Many of the superimpositions throughout the film were created "in the camera". The camera would shoot one image at the side of the frame, blacking out the rest of the shot, then expose the film. They would put the exposed film back into the camera and shoot again, blocking out the area that already had an image on it.
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.
The name of the baby was Jerry Craycroft. An article in Decatur Review dated December 26, 1926, reported that "eight month old Jerry Craycroft is making a name for himself in the movies... he will be seen a Fox picture, Sunrise, with Janet Gaynor and George O'Brian (sic)". A Social Security Death Index search for a Jerry Craycroft reveals that he was born on Apr 3, 1926, Death: 27 Feb 2000.
While Sunrise was the first Fox feature film to premiere with a Movietone sound track their 7th Heaven arrived earlier with a Movietone music track attached even though that film had already played its roadshow with a live score.
In the original score, the music used in the scene in the photographer's studio after the couple knocks over the statue is the "Funeral March of a Marionette," by Charles Gounod - the same music that was the theme decades later (and with a quicker tempo) for Alfred Hitchcock's TV series.