Sunrise A Song of Two Humans

  • Directors: F W Murnau
  • Producers: William Fox
  • Writers: Carl Mayer, Story, Hermann Sudermann
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Crime
  • Actors: George O Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston

The film tells a fable of a married farmer, The Man (George O’Brien) who gives up dinner with The Wife (Janet Gaynor) to continue an affair with The Woman From The City (Margaret Livingston).

The Woman convinces The Man that he should drown The Wife, sell the farm and move with her to The City. They decide he should take her out on a boat trip, commit the crime, and say it was an accident. The Wife agrees to go on the trip, yearning for any bit of time and affection from her husband, but soon grows suspicious of his behavior.

The two go out on a boat to the City. Halfway across the Man stands up and makes ready to throw the Wife overboard. Looking into her eyes he realizes he can’t do it. He sits back down heavily and begins frantically rowing for the shore. When the boat lands, the Wife flees. The Man follows her.

Eventually the two end up in the City. The Man, desperate to apologize and make things right, ends up following the Wife throughout the City until they reach a church. Going inside, they find a wedding in progress. As the couple marrying swear their vows, the Man begins to cry and remembers why he fell in love with the Wife to begin with. Arm-in-arm they leave the church.

Stricken with grief, the man is returned to his home by the local villagers. Later his mistress calls out to him, but his despair and loneliness turn to rage and he chases after the mistress in a blind fury. He eventually catches her and begins to strangle her, but before he can, there arises a commotion from the villagers who claim they found his wife. He releases his ex-mistress and goes to see his wife who is indeed alive, and the film fades to black as they embrace while the sun rises.

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