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Sunrise, German Expressionism, and Murnau in America

by Kate Fortmueller

The Last Laugh (1924) and Faust (1926) established F.W. Murnau as an internationally renowned director. William Fox actually hired Murnau in 1925 to make a film in Hollywood and help align Fox studios with art films. Although Sunrise bombed in the U.S. it has been critically recuperated as a great film in the subsequent years. The film centers on three un-named characters, "The Man," "The Wife," and "The Woman from the City." In this sequence "The Woman from the City" tries to convince "The Man" to kill his wife. This clip features superimpositions and animated intertitles. Sunrise has often been noted as a film which combines Hollywood filmmaking and German Expressionism. Try to identify the stylistic legacy of Expressionism in this sequence.

Sunrise (1927) - The Plot

In this sequence "The Woman from the City" tries to convince "The Man" to drown his wife and run away with her.

from Sunrise (1927)
Creator: F.W. Murnau
Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Posted by Kate Fortmueller
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