sunrise: a song of two humans

the 3 hour silent film from 1927 really wasn’t all that bad. and i think netflix lied when they said it was 3 hours. imdb says it’s only 94 minutes which is about right. the film was surprisingly violent. i understand the need for theatrics in a silent film but the “crazy eyes” and numerous choking attempts seemed unnecessary and out of place in 2010.

directed by f.w.murnau (who also did nosferatu) and starring george o’brien and janet gaynor won 3 oscars. i’ll give you a run down on what happens since i don’t expect any of you to actually watch this (if you haven’t already) so SPOILER ALERT! a couple in the country have become disenchanted in their marriage and have begun to spend more time apart. a woman vacationing from the city has taken a liking to the man and convinces him to drown his wife, sell the farm and come home with her. when the city woman first proposes the murder choking scene #1 happens, flailing and all. the man is obviously appalled at this suggestion at first but more kissing and rolling around happens with visions of the city swirl over their heads. drunk on thoughts of a downtown life he agrees this is a splendid idea.

when he gets home and tells his wife they’re going on a boat ride she is ecstatic, obviously starved for attention from her husband. he starts to feel bad, nervous. about half way across the water the crazy eyes come out and he lunges at her (choking scene #2) but can’t go through with it. seriously freaked out the wife runs from the boat crying and escapes into the city. the husband can’t believe what he’s done and spends the rest of the day trying to get her to forgive him. there are several sweet scenes where they reconnect while watching a wedding, dancing, taking pictures, going to a carnival, and on the way home they snuggle up in the boat happy and content.

but where’s the conflict? a storm hits and throws them both overboard. this scene totally pissed me off because the movie does a good job investing you in this relationship and you truly want both of them to live happily ever after. he gets back to shore, is inconsolable thinking his wife is dead and the city woman comes around to celebrate a job well done. choking scene #3. thankfully the wife is found alive and we do assume that they live happily ever after. lesson learned? attempted murder can bring families back together. either that or some time away from home to really appreciate one another.

next? grand hotel.

What’s left:
1928 Wings
1929 Broadway Melody, The
1930 All Quiet on the Western Front
1931 City Lights
1932 Grand Hotel
1933 Cavalcade
1935 Mutiny on the Bounty
1936 Great Ziegfeld, The
1937 Life of Emile Zola, The
1938 You Can’t Take It With You
1941 How Green Was My Valley
1942 Mrs. Miniver
1943 Casablanca
1944 Going My Way
1945 The Lost Weekend
1946 The Best Years of Our Lives
1947 Gentleman’s Agreement
1949 All the King’s Men
1951 An American in Paris
1952 The Greatest Show on Earth
1953 From Here to Eternity
1955 Marty
1956 Around the World in 80 Days
1963 Tom Jones
1966 A Man for All Seasons
1967 In the Heat of the Night
1969 Midnight Cowboy
1978 The Deer Hunter
1980 Ordinary People
1981 Chariots of Fire
1982 Gandhi
1983 Terms of Endearment
1985 Out of Africa
1992 Unforgiven
1996 The English Patient
2004 Million Dollar Baby
2009 The Hurt Locker


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

October 24, 2010 at 01:10 PM

Hi!! American in Paris is one of my favorite movies. So pretty to look at & listen to, plus it’s one of the few on that list that isn’t disturbing/depressing. Watch it next! Or are you going in chronological order?

October 24, 2010 at 05:10 PM

not going in chronological order, just the order that netflix sends them to me. i’ll move american in paris up :)

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