7.9/10
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City Girl (1930)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 1930 (Germany)
A Chicago waitress falls in love with a Minnesota farmer, and decides to face a life in the country.

Director:

F.W. Murnau

Writers:

Elliott Lester (play), Berthold Viertel (adaptation) | 6 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Farrell ... Lem Tustine
Mary Duncan ... Kate
David Torrence ... Mr. J.L. Tustine
Edith Yorke Edith Yorke ... Mrs. J.L. Tustine Blair
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Reaper (as Guinn Williams)
Anne Shirley ... Marie Tustine (as Dawn O'Day)
Tom McGuire ... Matey
Richard Alexander ... Mac
Patrick Rooney Patrick Rooney ... Butch (as Pat Rooney)
Ed Brady ... Reaper
Roscoe Ates ... Reaper
Edit

Storyline

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 <frank@dabelstein.dk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1930 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Our Daily Bread See more »

Filming Locations:

Athena, Oregon, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.19 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The wheat harvest scenes took place near Pendleton, OR, and the entire cast had to learn how to operate the wheat combine. The combines were pulled by a team of 32 mules. See more »

Goofs

At 17:35, Mr. Tustine, father of Lem Tustine calls her wife as "Mother".

his quote was: "No letter from Lem yet... I'm worried, mother." See more »

Connections

Featured in Murnau, Borzage and Fox (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Magical Murnau!
21 June 1999 | by David AtfieldSee all my reviews

Was Murnau the greatest director ever? His life was cut short by a car accident in 1931, when he was 42 years old. What magical films he would have made had he lived.

"City Girl" is a fairly conventional story of a young man from the country who falls in love with a waitress on his first trip to the city. He marries her and brings her home to a hostile father. But Murnau takes this material and turns it into an expressionist exploration of sexuality, powering it with a theme of "it's not where we live but how we live". Within a world of hostile shadows and menacing crowds real people live and breathe in brilliant naturalistic performances. Farrell and Duncan are amazingly good. And even the smallest part is played with vivid life.

But the real star is Murnau's startling direction. Tracking shots years ahead of their time - watch the scene where the couple run through a field of wheat - extraordinary point of view shots, and remarkable shots of and in fast moving wagons. The frightening city seen in "Sunrise" is here again - with trains and crowds obscuring vision and soot on the pot plants. And then there is the beauty of the countryside and the harvesting of wheat.

Murnau made what I believe to be the best silent film ever with "Sunrise" in 1927. With "City Girl" he comes close to matching it. A must. I saw the original silent version which runs at 90 minutes. Apparently a shorter talkie version also exists.


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