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. ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director F.W. Murnau wanted the title of the film to be "Our Daily Bread", but the studio refused. In addition, the film, which had been shot silent, was scheduled by the studio to have parts of it reshot with sound. Murnau refused, wanting nothing to do with "talkies", and after this and other clashes with the studio he left the picture before it was completed. An assistant director finished it. See more »
Each time when Lem's father, Kate, and Mac storm out of the farmhouse after Kate bandages Mac's hand, the shadow of the screen door moves across the "sky" backdrop in the background. See more »
Murnau's third American film after Sunrise and the lost Four Devils, and his penultimate before Tabu. City Girl, of the surviving three, is the least seen. The reason for this must be its close resemblance to Sunrise, which is a masterpiece of the first order. Yes, City Girl does remind one of Sunrise in its mood and focus. A young rube from Minnesota (Charles Farrell) travels to Chicago to sell his father's wheat crop. Business-wise, the trip doesn't go well, but his romantic world blossoms when he meets up with a lonely waitress (Mary Duncan). The two marry, and the rest of the film deals with Duncan's fight for acceptance on the farm, where she faces a fierce opponent in her father-in-law (David Torrence). The film is romantic, emotionally moving and utterly beautiful. Yes, it is a lot like Sunrise, but, heck, who wouldn't want a second Sunrise? It's hardly a carbon copy, anyway, so it's like another wonderful gift. City Girl is a masterpiece, as well. I'm not the biggest fan of Murnau's German films, but his three surviving American films are probably the best proof of the sentiment that the silent cinema was at a miraculous level right when it was snuffed by sound. Murnau tragically died in an auto accident in 1931. I find it hard to imagine his work in the talkies, but I have an inkling that the cinema would be rather different if he had survived.
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