Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

Director: F. W. Murnau Cinematographer: Charles Rosher, Karl Struss
 Sunrise (1927) on IMDb

Thanks to the phenomenal success of German director Murnau’s The Last Laugh, he was invited to Hollywood by William Fox to make an expressionist film and given complete control on Sunrise. While the film is invariably described as silent cinema it was one of the first to be released and widely seen with a Fox Movietone sound-on-film music and effects track. Based on the Hermann Sudermann novel A Trip to Tilsit, it takes place in a colourful farming community, where people from the city regularly take their weekend holidays. Local farmer George O’Brien, happily married to Janet Gaynor, falls under the seductive spell of Margaret Livingston, a femme fatale from The City. He callously ignores his wife and child and strips his farm of its wealth on behalf of Livingston, but even this fails to satisfy her. Shot in Murnau’s accustomed manner, with elaborate stylised sets, complicated location shooting and experimental visual effects, the film’s costs far exceeded its earnings, but the poetic tale of sin and redemption overwhelmed critics with its beautiful visual aesthetics and continues to be regarded as one of the greatest films ever made.

Buy or Rent (watch online)
Blu-ray + Dvd Combo
Studio Classics – Best Picture Collection (Sunrise / How Green Was My Valley / Gentleman’s Agreement / All About Eve) DVD
Film Sunrise 1927 Ngeorge OBrien About To Kill His Wife Janet Gaynor In A Scene From Sunrise A Song Of Two Humans Directed By FW Murnau 1927 Poster Print by (24 x 36)
1990 Score To 1927 Film



  • George O’Brien as The Man
  • Janet Gaynor as The Wife
  • Margaret Livingston as The Woman From the City
  • Bodil Rosing as The Maid
  • J. Farrell MacDonald as The Photographer
  • Ralph Sipperly as The Barber
  • Jane Winton as The Manicure Girl
  • Arthur Housman as The Obtrusive Gentleman
  • Eddie Boland as The Obliging Gentleman
  • Sally Eilers as Woman in Dance Hall with failing straps (uncredited)
  • Gino Corrado as Manager of Hair Salon (uncredited)
  • Thomas Jefferson as The Old Seaman (uncredited)
  • Herman Bing as Streetcar Conductor (uncredited)
  • Gibson Gowland as Angry Driver (uncredited)

Directed by F. W. Murnau
Produced by William Fox
Screenplay by Carl Mayer
Music by Hugo Riesenfeld, Ernö Rapée
Cinematography Charles Rosher, Karl Struss
Edited by Harold D. Schuster
Running time 95 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film, English subtitles

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