City Girl - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

City Girl Reviews

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May 31, 2017
Despite a very weak ending, this is a very good film featuring what happens when a farm boy meets a city girl, they get married, and he takes her back to his farm. It could have entered into Crocodile Dundee humor, but it's interesting when the girl, probably from being brought up in the city, takes bullshit from noone. Very crisply acted (It does help that Charles Turrell is easy on the eyes) and expertly lit.. Check out those night shots! This is an interesting film.
May 1, 2017
Ignore the naysayers, whatever the hell they know about movies. This is magnificent movie making. I rarely use the word 'literally', but this film is literally breathtaking. I loved it from the start with perfect casting and moment-capturing. Great cinematic storytelling. A silent movie to begin anyone's journey into silent movies. Can't rate it highly enough. I laughed. I gasped. I hung on every moment, and, being a silent in the last days before the advent of the dull talkies, there were many of them. Terrific joy in a pure wonder where even the smallest characters have presence.
½ November 28, 2014
There is true beauty to behold in Murnau's pictorial view of Minnesotan farmland - amber waves of grain and all that. But I think some of the scenes in the Windy City, especially when Kate looks out of her apartment window and the passing El train creates flashes of light on her face, are equally stunning. You can see how this may have influenced Malick's Days of Heaven. However, the plot, elemental though it is, feels too rickety to support all these perfect images. Apparently, a producer tampered with the end product after Murnau walked away. So, we have Country Boy meets City Girl, marries her and brings her back to Minnesota where his Old Man does not approve. Their relationship is strained until the Old Man finally relents (after some lascivious farmhands show him his stupidity). No match for Sunrise (to which the plot, but not the images, bears some similarity) -if you are new to Murnau, start there (or Faust or The Last Laugh).
½ August 24, 2014
A waitress in a big city diner falls in love with a country guy visiting the city. They quickly get married and move to the country where she faces his stern father. As I was watching, I thought this is kind of lightweight for a Murnau film. I mean, the director of "Nosferatu" and "Sunrise"? But then as it progressed, I saw that it has gotten more complex and darker. It pretty much turned into somewhat of a companion piece of "Sunrise". It's not quite as great as that film. He uses some of the same notes but it's still a wonderful film worth checking out since hey, it's a Murnau film.
January 20, 2014
With a glowing performance from Mary Duncan, a suiting sweet original score by Arthur Kay, and impressive beautiful cinematography by Ernest Palmer, City Girl might not be F.W. Murnau's finest effort, but adds as an impressive piece of work.
June 19, 2013
I saw this movie for the first time 2 days ago, and I thought it was stunning. Why Hal Erickson thinks that Mary Duncan was untalented is a mystery to me. She brings a toughness and grit to her character that Gaynor could never have approached. And Murnau wanted to call the film "Our Daily Bread," not "Bread."
May 1, 2013
Definitely not the kind of expressionistic spectacle I expected from a Murnau film! City Girl is a simple, beautiful film that rewards its viewers with rich visuals and surprisingly rich story telling.
January 18, 2013
A city waitress marries the son of a wheat farmer, but struggles to be accepted by the man's family and especially the father, who believes she will be unfaithful. This tension unfolds one stormy night. This film, which was thought lost for a long time, portrays perhaps the most genuine achievement by Murnau to bridge realism with German expressionism. But while in the technical aspect he takes artistic liberties that are remarkable, with the light play and the camera movements resembling a celluloid dance, the narrative aspect and its dead beat rhythm seems frustrated, perhaps by the advent of the talking pictures.
½ October 11, 2012
From the master of silent films such as Last Laugh & Nosferatu comes I believe in my opinion his last silent masterpiece.

As the title suggests this is the story of a city girl falling for a country & goes back to live with him & then the story gets going.

All the characters in this a so well thought & written especially the city girl who gives a sensational performance & really moves the film forward.

It is emotional & engaging I was so surprised the quality of the story & acting ...and incredible silent film, supposively there is a talkie version just stick with this....
Super Reviewer
April 18, 2012
'city girl' is kind of the inverse 'sunrise' and was a compromised project for murnau, only being released in a truncated sound version which is now lost. while i much prefer murnau's original title of 'our daily bread', there are some lovely and lyrical scenes here as impressive as anything in 'sunrise', most notably the sequence of lem and kate running through the wheatfields and the final runaway wagon race lit by a single lantern. good chemistry between the two leads and the earthier mary duncan is an interesting contrast to charles farrell's usual partner janet gaynor. it's somewhat of a miracle this full silent version has survived and there are some nice features related to the lost film '4 devils' on the disc as well
March 21, 2012
F.W. Murnau's filmography in Hollywood may have been cut short by his untimely death, but he certainly did fine work. Between this and "Sunrise", he was one of the great auteurs working at the time. Supposedly, a sound version of this film did exist, but has been lost; still, the silent version is very powerful, a credit to Murnau.
Super Reviewer
½ December 17, 2011
This F.W. Murnau melodrama starts off well, but goes sour with its archaic values.

Lem is a Minnesota farm boy whose father sends him to the big city to sell their wheat harvest. The transaction is crucial to the family's solvency, and Lem is sternly warned not to settle for a lower price. During his brief trip, he falls in love with a waitress named Kate. And she falls for him. They decide to get married after spending what amounts to a few hours in each other's company. Mainly because a vending-machine fortune suggests they do. Ah well. It has been a sweet romance until now, so one would like to forgive its quaint corniness.

But then Lem takes Kate home to his family, and the film's age becomes too obvious. The father is suspicious that she's a gold-digger (even though the family isn't rich), and actually hits her soon after they meet. Then the ridiculous, bumpkin farmhands hear Lem has brought back a wife who's a looker, and immediately figger one of them can steal her away if they just smile real pretty and spit-slick their hair back. Given how easily Lem won her heart, perhaps their hopes aren't so far-fetched.

The plot begins drawing steady eyerolls from here, though at least Kate stands up to the father rather than backing down. The issue of the wheat price is essentially thrown out without being resolved, and the same goes for a second crisis about an incoming hail storm. And of course we know a happy ending will arrive, even if its justification is shaky.

It's strange that Murnau made "City Girl" near the end of his career (and short life), following far more ambitious productions such as "Faust," "Nosferatu" and "Sunrise." It's solidly directed and, to its credit, has few of the exaggerated acting gestures found in typical silents, but Murnau doesn't really make his presence known beyond a few tracking shots -- most notably, an idyllic scene where the camera chases newlyweds Lem and Kate happily scampering through a wheat field. Such minor treats are not enough to make this film essential.
July 24, 2011
Murnau's minor masterpiece is the yang to Sunrise's yin.
½ March 5, 2011
Pretty danged near perfect companion piece to Murnau's "Sunrise." While not as technically adventurous (save for one astounding, jaw-droppingly amazing shot of the central couple running through a sun-dappled wheat field), it's just as dramatically potent and just about as visually poetic as its predecessors. Wonderful performances. Great film. It was lost for ages, but it still feels like it was an inspiration for Malick's "Days of Heaven."
January 22, 2011
Melodramatic, atmospheric.
October 6, 2010
Murnau takes a slightly implausible story to heights it would not have reached with another director. Two passages of the film stand out for their beauty and poetry: the harvest scenes and the return home after Lem's wedding. Murnau focuses on the concrete elements simply, allowing the power of these significant moments in these people's lives to shine without covering them up with dialogue and plot. Not to the level of Sunrise (what is?), City Girl remains a fine film in its own right.
September 21, 2010
Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau's last Hollywood Movie is a tragic Love Story between a Farmer Boy and a City Girl Kate is a Waitress who have enough from the City with it's Rush and Enstragment, her hard Work and the brash Attitude of the Men who all want always the same then she meets a civlized Farmer Boy who is nice to her and defent her she goes with him to the Land and marry him and hope for a better Future but on the Land it is even harder than in the City, her Father-in-Law is a Tyrann, against the Marriage and hit her, her Work here is even harder and the Men are even more Brash one want to unhitch her and want to leave with her and inicite the Harvesters to leave the Field while a Storm threathen to destroy the Wheat Harvest but in the End Love wins and it be a Happy End like in many Hollywood Movies great Actors, great Directions, a great Story and a great Soundtrack
½ June 22, 2010
Simple tale of a man coming into his own with the help of a strong woman. The effective visualizations and believable emotions help to overcome a good bit of the abrupt transitions.
April 3, 2010
A mostly forgotten Murnau film, but it shouldn't be. It's really good, and I watched it on blu-ray and it looked AMAZING! I'm really in shock as to how good these old silent movies can look in HD.
October 19, 2009
F.W. Murnau's filmography in Hollywood may have been cut short by his untimely death, but he certainly did fine work. Between this and "Sunrise", he was one of the great auteurs working at the time. Supposedly, a sound version of this film did exist, but has been lost; still, the silent version is very powerful, a credit to Murnau.
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