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Encyclopedia > Sunrise (film)
Sunrise:
A Song of Two Humans

Original movie poster
Directed by F.W. Murnau
Produced by William Fox
Written by Hermann Sudermann,
Carl Mayer
Starring Janet Gaynor,
George O'Brien,
Margaret Livingston
Distributed by Fox Film Corporation
Release date(s) September 23, 1927
Running time 95 min.
Language English
Budget N/A
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (aka Sunrise) is a 1927 American film directed by F.W. Murnau. This film is one of the first with a soundtrack of music and sound effects recorded in then-new Fox Movietone sound-on-film system. The story was adapted by Carl Mayer from the short story Die Reise Nach Tilsit by Hermann Sudermann. Image File history File links Sunrise_vintage. ... F W Murnau Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (December 28, 1888 – March 11, 1931) was one of the most influential directors of the silent film era. ... William Fox (born Wilhelm Fried in January 1, 1879–May 8, 1952) was the founder of Fox Film Corporation, now 20th Century Fox. ... Hermann Sudermann (September 30, 1857- November 21, 1928), German dramatist and novelist, was born at Matziken in East Prussia, close to the Russian frontier, of a Mennonite family long settled near Elbing. ... Carl Mayer (20 November 1894 Graz, Austria - 1 July 1944 London) was a screenplay writer who wrote or co-wrote the screenplays to The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920), Der Letzte Mann (1924), and Sunrise (1927), the last two being films directed by F. W. Murnau. ... Janet Gaynor Janet Gaynor [1] (October 6, 1906 – September 14, 1984) was an actress who, in 1928, was the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress. ... George OBrien, right, with actor Johnny Weissmuller. ... Margaret Livingston (25 November 1900 - 13 December 1984) was a United States motion picture actress. ... The Fox Film Corporation was an American company which produced motion pictures, formed in 1915 when founder William Fox merged two companies he had established in 1913: Greater New York Film Rental, a distribution firm, which was part of the Independents; and Fox (or Box, depending on the source) Office... September 23 is the 266th day of the year (267th in leap years). ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1927 (MCMXXVII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... F W Murnau Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (December 28, 1888 – March 11, 1931) was one of the most influential directors of the silent film era. ... Movietone was created ever since silent movies came out, and was the primary source of news and current events for moviegoers until the first black and white television set came out in the late 1940s. ... Sound-on-film refers to a class of sound film processes where the sound accompanying picture is physically recorded onto photographic film, usually, but not always, the same film strip of film carrying the picture. ... Carl Mayer (20 November 1894 Graz, Austria - 1 July 1944 London) was a screenplay writer who wrote or co-wrote the screenplays to The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920), Der Letzte Mann (1924), and Sunrise (1927), the last two being films directed by F. W. Murnau. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Hermann Sudermann (September 30, 1857- November 21, 1928), German dramatist and novelist, was born at Matziken in East Prussia, close to the Russian frontier, of a Mennonite family long settled near Elbing. ...

Contents

Plot

Sunrise tells a fable of a married farmer, The Man (George O'Brien) who gives up dinner with The Wife (Janet Gaynor) to continue an affair with The Woman From The City (Margaret Livingston). The Woman convinces The Man that he should drown The Wife and move with her to The City. They decide he should take her out on a boat trip, commit the crime, and say it was an accident. The Wife agrees to go on the trip, yearning for any bit of time and affection from her husband, but soon grows suspicious of his behavior. George OBrien, right, with actor Johnny Weissmuller. ... Janet Gaynor Janet Gaynor [1] (October 6, 1906 – September 14, 1984) was an actress who, in 1928, was the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress. ... Margaret Livingston (25 November 1900 - 13 December 1984) was a United States motion picture actress. ...


The two go out on a boat to the City. Halfway across the Man stands up and makes ready to throw the Wife overboard. Looking into her eyes he realizes he can't do it. He sits back down heavily and begins frantically rowing for the shore. When the boat lands, the Wife flees. The Man follows her.


Eventually the two end up in the City. The Man, desperate to apologize and make things right, ends up following the Wife throughout the City until they reach a church. Going inside, they find a wedding in progress. As the couple marrying swear their vows, the Man begins to cry and remembers why he fell in love with the Wife to begin with. Arm-in-arm they leave the church. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Nubian wedding with some international modern touches, near Aswan, Egypt Preparing for the photographs, at a wedding in Thornbury Castle, England A traditional Japanese wedding ceremony A wedding is a civil or religious ceremony which celebrates the beginning of a marriage. ...


Much of the rest of the film simply follows them on their adventure through the City, which includes having their picture taken, going to an amusement park and chasing a drunk pig (don't ask). Finally they had back to the boat and begin to row home. Germany Pavilion, part of the Epcot Center theme park in Orlando, Florida Amusement park (also called theme park) is the generic term for a collection of rides and other entertainment attractions assembled for the purpose of entertaining a fairly large group of people. ... ¡FLOATING PIGZ! ...


During the trip back, however, a storm blows up. The Man rows as fast as he can, but in the end the boat begins to sink. His last act on the boat is to secure the Wife to a bundle of reeds brought aboard originally to help in the planned murder. Now he hopes they will act as a liferaft for the Wife.


The boat goes under, and the Man eventually ends up on shore. Of the Wife, there is no sign...


Style

Sunrise was made by F.W. Murnau, a German director who was one of the leading figures in German Expressionism, a style that uses distorted art design for symbolic effect. Murnau was invited by 20th Century Fox to make an Expressionist film in Hollywood, and most of the crew were his German colleagues. [citation needed] F W Murnau Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (December 28, 1888 – March 11, 1931) was one of the most influential directors of the silent film era. ... F.W. Murnaus Nosferatu German Expressionism, also referred to as expressionism in filmmaking, developed in Germany (especially Berlin) during the 1920s. ... Production designer is a term used in the movie and television industries to refer to the person responsible for the overall look of a film or TV movie. ... Fox Plaza, the company headquarters. ...


The resulting film features enormous stylized sets that create an exaggerated, fairy-tale-like world. Murnau manages to use a subtle technique of animal and plant imagery as an important tool to indicate the mood or tone in a particular scene and accent the deconstruction of generic dichotomies.


The use of nature is extremely important to Murnau. Many of the scenes are not shot on location, but constructed. This creates an extremely realistic, almost hyper-reality, which builds a tone of uncertainty and surrealism. This technique is clearly used in the swamp rendezvous between the Man and the Woman from the City.


Examining the natural environment in Sunrise is extremely important because it highlights the dichotomies like City vs. Country, that Murnau establishes, and then later critiques. The natural environment looks real, but is artificial, the city seems evil, but is actually fun.


Awards

The movie was the only film to win the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production (in 1929, for films made in 1927 or 1928) when it was a variation of Best Picture. In addition, Gaynor won Best Actress and the film also won the Best Cinematography. The Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production has also been known as Best Artistic Quality of Production. It was only awarded during the first year of the Oscars, and may be considered as a redundant variation of Best Picture. ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is awarded each year to a cinematographer for his work in one particular motion picture. ...


Sunrise appears in the top 10 of the Sight and Sound critic's poll for best film ever made in 2002, and featured on American Film Institute's 100 Passions list. It has also been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. Sight and Sound is a British monthly magazine about film. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... The American Film Institute (AFI) is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act. ... The American Film Institute, celebrating the 100th anniversary of film, created several top 100 lists covering movies in American cinema. ... The Great Hall interior. ... The National Film Registry is the registry of films selected by the United States National Film Preservation Board for preservation in the Library of Congress. ...


DVD

20th Century Fox has released Sunrise on DVD, but only as a special, limited edition available only by mailing in proofs-of-purchase for other DVD titles in their "Studio Classics" line, or as part of the box set Studio Classics: The 'Best Picture' Collection. Individual copies of the Sunrise DVD can frequently be found on Ebay. A box set (sometimes referred to as a boxed set) is one or more musical recordings, films, television programs, or other collection of related things that are contained in a box. ... eBay headquarters in San Jose eBay North First Street satellite office campus (home to PayPal) eBay Inc. ...


The DVD includes commentary, a copy of the film's trailer, details about Murnau's great lost film Four Devils, outtakes and a great many more features. A lost film is a film which, for any of several reasons, is no longer in existence. ... Four Devils is a 1928 silent film by the great German film director F. W. Murnau. ...


Trivia

  • Murnau apparently had George O'Brien wear boots specially weighted with lead in certain scenes to lend him an air of oppression and despair.
  • During the scene where the couple tries to find the statue's "missing" head in the Photographer's Studio, a piece of music familiar to every Alfred Hitchcock fan begins to play. It is Charles Gounod's Funeral March of a Marionette, and was used as the theme music for the television show Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
  • When asked years later about winning the first Academy Award for Best Actress, Janet Gaynor said that if she'd been aware of how important the award was to become, she would've appreciated the moment more, rather than simply ogling Douglas Fairbanks.
  • Much of the exterior shooting was done at Lake Arrowhead in California.
  • Murnau makes extensive use of forced perspective throughout the film. Of special note is a shot of the City where you see normal-sized in the foreground and midgets in the background along with much smaller sets.
  • Janet Gaynor went on to star in Murnau's film Four Devils (1928), probably one of the most notable lost films of the early sound film period.

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (August 13, 1899 – April 29, 1980) was a highly influential director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and thriller genres. ... Charles Gounod Charles François Gounod (June 17, 1818 – October 18, 1893) was a French composer, best known for his opera Faust. ... Screenshot of opening sequence of Alfred Hitchcock Presents Alfred Hitchcock Presents was a half-hour anthology television series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. ... Douglas Fairbanks Douglas Fairbanks (May 23, 1883 – December 12, 1939) was an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer, who became noted for his swashbuckling roles in silent movies such as The Mark of Zorro (1920), The Three Musketeers (1921), Robin Hood (1922), The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and The Black... Lake Arrowhead is a census-designated place located in San Bernardino County, California. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Forced perspective is a filmmaking technique employed to make larger objects appear smaller to the viewer or vice versa, depending on their relationship to the camera and each other. ... Four Devils is a 1928 silent film by the great German film director F. W. Murnau. ... A lost film is a film which, for any of several reasons, is no longer in existence. ...

External links


Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau

Der Knabe in Blau (1919) • Der Januskopf (1920) • Abend - Nacht - Morgen (1920) • Satanas (1920) • Sehnsucht (1920) • Der Gang in die Nacht (1920) • Der Bucklige und die Tänzerin (1920) • Schloß Vogelöd (1921) • Marizza (1922) • Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) • Phantom (1922) • Der brennende Acker (1922) • Die Austreibung (1923) • Der letzte Mann (1924) • Die Finanzen des Großherzogs (1924) • Herr Tartüff (1926) • Faust (1926) • Sunrise (1927) • Four Devils (1928) • City Girl (1930) • Tabu (1931) F. W. Murnau. ... Sehnsucht was a 1920 Silent film directed by F. W. Murnau and starring Conrad Veidt. ... The Haunted Castle (also known as Schloß Vogelöd and Vogelod Castle) is a silent chamber drama directed by F. W. Murnau in 1921. ... Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (A Symphony of Horror in German) is a German Expressionist film shot in 1922 by F.W. Murnau. ... Phantom is a silent film that was directed by F. W. Murnau in 1922, the same year he directed Nosferatu. ... The Last Laugh : A New Philosophy of Near-Death Experiences, Apparitions, and the Paranormal is a book by Dr. Raymond Moody presenting case histories of adults and children who have clinically reached the point of death and survived. ... Herr Tartüff is a German silent film produced by Erich Pommer for UFA and released in 1926. ... Faust was a silent film produced in 1926 directed by F.W. Murnau with Gösta Ekman as Faust and Emil Jannings as Mephisto. ... Four Devils is a 1928 silent film by the great German film director F. W. Murnau. ... Tabu (also called Tabu, a Story of the South Seas) is a 1931 film which tells the story of two lovers in the South Seas, who must escape their village when the girl is chosen as the holy maid to the gods. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sunrise / 1927 / Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau / F.W. Murnau / Film review / Silent film (535 words)
Sunrise, F.W. Murnau’s timeless classic of corruption, redemption and true love, is widely regarded as one of the most exquisitely realised of all silent films, and arguably one of the greatest films of the Twentieth Century.
Sunrise is a film of contrasts – the mood shifts from extremes of dramatic intensity to out-and-out farce and you are never quite sure where the film will end up.
It is also a film with a striking poetic form, rivalling some of the greatest works of literature in its effective and innovative use of imagery and symbolism to convey meaning and emotion.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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