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Sunrise A Song of Two Humans U rating

F.W. Murnau's enduring fable of love, loss and redemption; one of silent cinema's last and most luminous masterpieces. Presented here in its alternate Czech archive version.

Drama 1927 75 mins Silent

Director: F.W. Murnau



Associated with 1920s German Expressionism, with its exaggerated sets and lighting techniques, acclaimed director F.W. Murnau was lured to Hollywood by producer William Fox for this expensive super-production, for which he given complete artistic control. The simple story of a husband’s betrayal of his wife with a treacherous city girl, the film moves from a fairytale-like depiction of rural life to a dynamic portrait of the bustling modern American city. The result is breathtaking in its design, visual style and intense, affecting lead performances. The film is presented here in an alternate version discovered in the Czech National Film Archive. Being edited and comprised from alternate takes (and also running at a different framerate), it runs 20 minutes shorter than the traditional English-language release, but is also widely acknowledged as offering the best quality visual presentation of the film, with a wider aspect ratio and generally sharper image.

Ranked joint 10th in the 2022 Sight and Sound Great Films of All Time poll.