Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans



Critic Consensus: Boasting masterful cinematography to match its well-acted, wonderfully romantic storyline, Sunrise is perhaps the final -- and arguably definitive -- statement of the silent era.

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Movie Info

Remade as The Journey to Tilsit, this is a silent story which revolves around a romance that leads to murder. When a simple country lad becomes involved with a seductive city girl, she tries to convince him that murdering his wife will solve all of their problems.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Hermann Sudermann, Carl Mayer
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 9, 2008
Fox Films

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as The Wife

as The Man

as The Woman from the C...

as Photographer

as The Photographer

as The Manicure Girl

as The Obtrusive Gentle...

as The Obliging Gentlem...

as Angry Motorist

as Danchall Manager

as Head Waiter

as Dancer

as The Obtrusive Gentle...
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Critic Reviews for Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (11)

Rich, strange and gorgeous, F.W. Murnau's Sunrise shows what an artist of the late silent era could accomplish cinematically, backed by an open checkbook and fueled by the highest aspirations even in the simplest of morality tales.

Full Review… | February 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

For his Hollywood début, in 1927, the German director F. W. Murnau brought a slender story to life with a breathtaking display of cinematic virtuosity, creating one of the masterworks of the art form.

Full Review… | February 25, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

F.W. Murnau's career-peak nova, the crowning film from that sacred, edge-of-the-abyss year of 1927.

Full Review… | March 31, 2010
Village Voice
Top Critic

In its artistry, dramatic power and graphic suggestion it goes a long way toward realizing the promise of this foreign director in his former works, notably Faust.

Full Review… | February 20, 2008
Top Critic

Picturesquely soporific.

Full Review… | January 22, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Released in 1927, the last year of silent film, it's a pinnacle of that lost art.

Full Review… | February 13, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

At his mistress's command, a man takes his wife on a boat ride in order to kill her, but he decides against it, and they have a lovely afternoon together.
While the cinematography is quite charming and the superimposed images were probably revolutionary and striking in their time, the story of Sunrise is streamlined and not that interesting. We know early that the man isn't going to kill his wife, so there isn't any suspense on the boat, and what follows lacks any real, compelling conflict.
Overall, for its technical achievements, Sunrise has been rightly praised, but its emotional effect is pretty close to nil.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


The ultimate silent film, released right after the talkies had already become a reality. Featuring some splendid superimpositions and impossible camera movements, this wonderful movie is not only an impressive achievement for all its masterful technique but also a beautiful and incredibly sincere story about love.

Carlos Magalhăes

Super Reviewer

Quite simply beautiful. One of very few honest and poignant true love stories in cinema. It is very slow paced but highly worthwhile for its moments of romance, humour, tragedy and beauty. Murnau created a timeless silent film that stands up as perhaps one of the greatest films ever made.

Shauna Robinson

Super Reviewer

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