In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
In this fable-morality subtitled "A Song of Two Humans", the "evil" temptress is a city woman who bewitches farmer Anses and tries to convince him to murder his neglected wife, Indre.Written by
SUNRISE is easily the greatest film made in the silent era. Murnau's story (or filmed poem, according to the credits) is about a troubled farmer (George O'Brien) and his secret girlfriend (Margaret Livingston) plotting to murder his wife (Janet Gaynor, possibly the sweetest, most likable adult character in film history!) The storyline, the dark, moody photography, the creepy sets (especially that swamp!) makes you think this will be a thriller with an unhappy ending, much like AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY. About half-way through the film, Murnau pulls such a daring 180 degree turn with his film, you'll shake your head, and will love it. I doubt film-makers today would try for such a daring move!
It is shame that Murnau died middle aged in 1931. Had he of lived another 30 years, and made films up until the age of Cinemascope, looser censorship, 60's technology, what great films we would have.
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