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4.5
3,819 Ratings

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Directed by F.W. Murnau
United States, 1927
Drama, Silent

Synopsis

Tired of his routine country life, a farmer becomes bewitched by a beguiling city woman who convinces him to murder his wife so they can live together. The man then plans to murder his wife during a trip in their rowing boat. But things turn out differently.

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Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans Directed by F.W. Murnau

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1929 | Nominee: Best Art Direction

1929 | 2 wins including: Best Cinematography

AFI FEST

2012

It’s the dictionary definition of a classic film. It won the first ever Academy Award, has been placed on the National Registry, and was the first silent film put out on Blu-Ray. It routinely places in “Best Of” lists, it’s a picture whose artistry is intended to be accessible to mass audiences. It is conventionally beautiful, conventionally narrative, conventionally stirring. It needs no apologies or excuses, it’s just excellent in every way. But did you know it was a comedy?
June 11, 2017
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Murnau’s unusually expressive camerawork creates an emotional inner life for the characters. US studio head William Fox brought Murnau to Hollywood from Germany after seeing his delirious German Expressionist drama The Last Laugh, which told its story without any intertitles. With Sunrise, Murnau’s mastery of image combined with the power and resources of Hollywood to create what many believe is the high-point of the silent cinema – a film whose enormous influence can be felt to this day.
July 20, 2015
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By showing no particular city, Murnau captures the essence of urban life; by depicting a generic love story, he conjures love in itself. Thus, from the wisp of a tale, he raises cinema to the heights of philosophical speculation—and, at the same time, renders palpable the joy of an unrivalled inventiveness, the miracle of the medium’s power.
November 24, 2014
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