Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans Reviews

  • May 13, 2019

    The greatest and most emotional cinematic experience i ever had. Sunrise is what cinema is all about.The greatest and most emotional cinematic experience i ever had. Sunrise is what cinema is all about.

    The greatest and most emotional cinematic experience i ever had. Sunrise is what cinema is all about.The greatest and most emotional cinematic experience i ever had. Sunrise is what cinema is all about.

  • May 10, 2019

    Boy am I glad that views towards women in relation to men in particular have changed since 1927. I can appreciate that this film had a huge effect in it's technical execution and sophisticated at the time acting but watching it today I found the villain to be the most exciting character in the whole film and the entire middle section dragged on for far too long. This is definitely one of the better silent films I have seen, certainly better than The Artist (2011), and it has aged spectacularly well considering how old-fashioned films like Wings (1927) and The Kid Brother (1927) seem today. It was a rather tedious film to watch but if you want to witness an important piece of cinema history this is worth seeing because it set up archetypes that still exist today and features the delightful Janet Gaynor giving one of her most notable performances. The Man, George O'Brien, leaves his stable and loving wife, Janet Gaynor, and their child for the reprehensible hussy The Woman from the City, Margaret Livingston, who encourages him to murder his wife and run off with her. The next day he attempts to do this on the boat but relents and the two fall back in love during a day in the city. Untold sorrows await them however as they make their way back home. O'Brien and Gaynor were obviously huge stars at the time and they do a great job with what they are given but it is Livingston who gives the most memorable performance in this film. Her non-speaking role hugely affected me as I sensed how sensual and dangerous she was. Calling her character the Woman from the City is apt because she embodies all that is different to the sweet but inexperienced small town girl that Gaynor plays. When The Man attempts to murder her Livingston is able to take another turn as we see that her cool, sexy persona was simply a façade and that underneath it all she is still a vulnerable woman. Despite playing the â~villain' I was utterly enthralled by her every time she appeared on screen and I almost would have liked to have seen her run off with him. The cinematography of the film is beautiful as my father and I noted at several points that the shots of the two on the boat would have been difficult to capture at the time. The Woman of the City is obviously well conveyed as she appears in the darkness, because she is a "bad woman", while Gaynor's smiling, luminous little face is always captured in loving close up shots during which we marvel at what a good woman she is. When they visit the city we see many of the spectacles that would not have been available to them in their shack on the river's edge and the excited mood of the two characters is really brought to the forefront with Hugo Riesenfeld and Erno Rapee's score plays joyously over this sequence of the film, although it could be about 25 minutes shorter. My major issue with the film is it's treatment of women. Obviously men do philander and then fall back in love with their wives in real life but here The Man attempts to murder his wife. I thought this was a step too far for him to be fully redeemed and as it is clear we are meant to blame The Woman of the City I felt rather annoyed. He is a man with his own free will and when he attempts to murder the villainous woman I just couldn't relate to him. Had a woman attempted to murder her husband and run off with a Man of the City I doubt the filmmakers of 1927 would have given her the same sympathetic treatment that they gave this man. This is a film worth watching although it is rather torturous trying to remain engaged at some points and it is better than the winner of Outstanding Picture, the doleful Wings. I found Livingston's performance to be wonderful and although the film's treatment of women was terrible it is a film that is 92 years old and you are bound to encounter sexism in many forms when looking at art this old.

    Boy am I glad that views towards women in relation to men in particular have changed since 1927. I can appreciate that this film had a huge effect in it's technical execution and sophisticated at the time acting but watching it today I found the villain to be the most exciting character in the whole film and the entire middle section dragged on for far too long. This is definitely one of the better silent films I have seen, certainly better than The Artist (2011), and it has aged spectacularly well considering how old-fashioned films like Wings (1927) and The Kid Brother (1927) seem today. It was a rather tedious film to watch but if you want to witness an important piece of cinema history this is worth seeing because it set up archetypes that still exist today and features the delightful Janet Gaynor giving one of her most notable performances. The Man, George O'Brien, leaves his stable and loving wife, Janet Gaynor, and their child for the reprehensible hussy The Woman from the City, Margaret Livingston, who encourages him to murder his wife and run off with her. The next day he attempts to do this on the boat but relents and the two fall back in love during a day in the city. Untold sorrows await them however as they make their way back home. O'Brien and Gaynor were obviously huge stars at the time and they do a great job with what they are given but it is Livingston who gives the most memorable performance in this film. Her non-speaking role hugely affected me as I sensed how sensual and dangerous she was. Calling her character the Woman from the City is apt because she embodies all that is different to the sweet but inexperienced small town girl that Gaynor plays. When The Man attempts to murder her Livingston is able to take another turn as we see that her cool, sexy persona was simply a façade and that underneath it all she is still a vulnerable woman. Despite playing the â~villain' I was utterly enthralled by her every time she appeared on screen and I almost would have liked to have seen her run off with him. The cinematography of the film is beautiful as my father and I noted at several points that the shots of the two on the boat would have been difficult to capture at the time. The Woman of the City is obviously well conveyed as she appears in the darkness, because she is a "bad woman", while Gaynor's smiling, luminous little face is always captured in loving close up shots during which we marvel at what a good woman she is. When they visit the city we see many of the spectacles that would not have been available to them in their shack on the river's edge and the excited mood of the two characters is really brought to the forefront with Hugo Riesenfeld and Erno Rapee's score plays joyously over this sequence of the film, although it could be about 25 minutes shorter. My major issue with the film is it's treatment of women. Obviously men do philander and then fall back in love with their wives in real life but here The Man attempts to murder his wife. I thought this was a step too far for him to be fully redeemed and as it is clear we are meant to blame The Woman of the City I felt rather annoyed. He is a man with his own free will and when he attempts to murder the villainous woman I just couldn't relate to him. Had a woman attempted to murder her husband and run off with a Man of the City I doubt the filmmakers of 1927 would have given her the same sympathetic treatment that they gave this man. This is a film worth watching although it is rather torturous trying to remain engaged at some points and it is better than the winner of Outstanding Picture, the doleful Wings. I found Livingston's performance to be wonderful and although the film's treatment of women was terrible it is a film that is 92 years old and you are bound to encounter sexism in many forms when looking at art this old.

  • Jun 24, 2018

    An astounding silent film that you'll never forget.

    An astounding silent film that you'll never forget.

  • May 12, 2018

    A huge step forward in the power of silent screen storytelling. It's use of camera tricks and visual effects to progress the story is far ahead of time. George O'Brien has a great screen presence and Janet gaynor shows why she was one of the brightest stars in Hollywood. A beautiful film and one of the greatest of its era.

    A huge step forward in the power of silent screen storytelling. It's use of camera tricks and visual effects to progress the story is far ahead of time. George O'Brien has a great screen presence and Janet gaynor shows why she was one of the brightest stars in Hollywood. A beautiful film and one of the greatest of its era.

  • Antonius B Super Reviewer
    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.

    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.

  • Nov 03, 2017

    I haven't seen many silent films (5 including this movie but I really want to see more) but Sunrise is by far the best I've seen. It's truly wonderful and at times it is as close to perfect as movies get. Its a simple story of a man and his wife who live in the country but when a women from the city comes to town she begins to seduce and manipulate the man before then suggesting that maybe she could 'accidently' drown. This is simple melodrama and a love triangle cliché we've seen countless times since this film was released 90 years ago, however this film with it's intelligence, beauty and emotion elevates this story and makes it sore. The cinematography is stunning, you can see the birth of modern camera movement in an outstanding scene in the marshes and the performances by O'Brien and Gaynor are unforgettable but like all great pieces of art it's message is clear and true. When we fall in love we have passion and lust but when that fire calms there will be new desires and temptations but only when the normal is nearly lost do you realise how strong the love really was.

    I haven't seen many silent films (5 including this movie but I really want to see more) but Sunrise is by far the best I've seen. It's truly wonderful and at times it is as close to perfect as movies get. Its a simple story of a man and his wife who live in the country but when a women from the city comes to town she begins to seduce and manipulate the man before then suggesting that maybe she could 'accidently' drown. This is simple melodrama and a love triangle cliché we've seen countless times since this film was released 90 years ago, however this film with it's intelligence, beauty and emotion elevates this story and makes it sore. The cinematography is stunning, you can see the birth of modern camera movement in an outstanding scene in the marshes and the performances by O'Brien and Gaynor are unforgettable but like all great pieces of art it's message is clear and true. When we fall in love we have passion and lust but when that fire calms there will be new desires and temptations but only when the normal is nearly lost do you realise how strong the love really was.

  • Sep 06, 2017

    A feast for the eyes and, simplistic as it is, a sweet tale to warm the heart. Lovely.

    A feast for the eyes and, simplistic as it is, a sweet tale to warm the heart. Lovely.

  • Aug 25, 2017

    Incredibly moving story that stands the test of time

    Incredibly moving story that stands the test of time

  • Jun 09, 2017

    This was kind of a messed up movie. There wasn't really character development and there's a lot of assault in this film.

    This was kind of a messed up movie. There wasn't really character development and there's a lot of assault in this film.

  • Apr 15, 2017

    Sunrise is perfect as F.W. Murnau's look on the power of true love in marriage. Also with lavish design and cinematography that would engross you to the story.....

    Sunrise is perfect as F.W. Murnau's look on the power of true love in marriage. Also with lavish design and cinematography that would engross you to the story.....