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Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
Lem goes to Chicago to sell the wheat his family has grown on their farm in Minnesota. There he meets the waitress Kate. They fall in love and get married before going back to the farm. Kate is accepted by Lem's mother and kid sister but is rejected by his father, who believes she married for the money. (And the fact that Lem didn't get a fair price for the wheat is her fault too). The reapers arrive and quickly they make things even more complicated by making their move on Kate. Lem misunderstands the situation and believes Kate is actually interested. In despair Kate leaves the farm and Lem goes looking for her. Written by
Frank Dabelstein <email@example.com>
Murnau had the knack of taking what looks like a simple relationship between a man and a woman (here a farm boy falling in love with a city girl who is a waitress) and depicting it in such a dramatic, physical, and spiritual fashion that you are spellbound throughout the whole picture. I must confess his early horror films do nothing for me; it is the romantic pictures like Sunrise and City Girl that show his real talents. These films transcend time itself.
Murnau is not afraid to depict characters who have a spiritual aspect to them....a quality totally lacking in today's pathetic, heathen filmmakers. For instance, Murnau in City Girl actually shows the main character (Charles Farrell) praying over his food in a public diner! When was the last time you saw that in a major motion picture? Refreshing!
Mary Duncan does well as Kate, the city girl. She had such soulful eyes and such a striking manner. She is totally believable as the woman struggling to survive a tough situation on a family farm run by a madman. Too bad this is the only silent film work of hers that has survived. Charles Farrell shows much depth in his silent film portrayals, much more so than in his early talkies, and City Girl is another fine example of his work.
If you are a fan of silents or of Murnau's work, don't neglect seeing this gem.
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