Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans 1927

Sunrise

Critics 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.

98%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 60

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,610

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Movie Info

Bored with his wife (Janet Gaynor), their baby and the dull routine of farm life, a farmer (George O'Brien) falls under the spell of a flirtatious city girl (Margaret Livingston) who convinces him to drown his wife so they can escape together. When his wife becomes suspicious of his plan and runs away to the city, the farmer pursues her, slowly regaining her trust as the two rediscover their love for each other in this award-winning silent classic.

Cast & Crew

George O'Brien
The Man (Anses)
Janet Gaynor
The Wife (Indre)
Margaret Livingston
The Woman from the City
J. Farrell MacDonald
The Photographer
Jane Winton
The Manicure Girl
Arthur Housman
The Obtrusive Gentleman
Eddie Boland
The Obliging Gentleman
Sally Eilers
Woman in dance hall (uncredited)
Timothy Brock
Original Music
Hugo Riesenfeld
Original Music
R.H. Bassett
Original Music
Erno Rapee
Original Music
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News & Interviews for Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Critic Reviews for Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

  • Jan 10, 2018
    Director F.W. Murnau made an outstanding film in 'Sunrise', which is an emotional drama and real visual treat. The story of temptation is simple and stripped down to the point of not even having character names for the principals (The Man, The Wife, and The Woman From the City), but the theme is timeless, and Murnau wastes no time getting to the tension. The simplicity may bother some, but I liked how tight the storytelling was. We really don't know which way the story is going to go, and at different times find ourselves horrified, touched, and even tickled during moments of levity. Janet Gaynor delivers a strong performance, and demonstrated real range to earn the first ever Oscar for best actress. She is very cute in the scenes where she's playful, such as when she dances with her husband. George O'Brien and Margaret Livingston are solid too, but what makes the film truly special is how far ahead of its time it was in its direction. Murnau uses overlays, imagined sequences, interesting camera angles, and flat-out beautiful cinematography from Charles Rosher and Karl Struss, and there are brilliant shots in the moonlight, on the water, and in the city. Poignant and artistic, this is one not to miss.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2013
    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 <i>Sunrise</i> 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, <i>Sunrise</i> has been rightly praised, but its emotional effect is pretty close to nil.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2012
    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 both an impressive technical achievement and a beautiful story about love.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2011
    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 R Super Reviewer

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