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F.W. Murnau

We are based in South London near Croydon, UK, and if preferred this item can be picked up by appointment. Just e-mail here. I also welcome the old fashioned cheque and po as it is cheaper to process and all orders are sent off same day as cheque received.


    Format: PAL
    Subtitles: French, Spanish
    Region: Region 2 (UK & Europe)
    Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    Number of discs: 1
    Classification: U

    Studio: Eureka Entertainment Ltd
    DVD Release Date: 22 Oct 2005
    Run Time: 95 minutes

  • F. W. Murnau — invited to America by William Fox, the promise of complete artistic freedom, and a blank cheque — made Sunrise on the cusp of two eras: it represents the silent film at the peak of its poetic sophistication, and the sound film in its infancy. Fox told Murnau to take his time, to make any film he wished, and Sunrise was completed without any studio interference — as though with a dying flourish in a medium which at that moment had achieved a startling richness of expression. It was the swan song of the era.

    Conceived by Murnau and written by Carl Mayer while they were both still in Germany, Sunrise takes a simple situation — the marriage of a peasant couple (George O’Brien and Janet Gaynor) from a country hamlet, invaded by a seductress from the city (Margaret Livingston) — and elevates it to the realm of fable, stripped of melodrama yet brimming with poetic impulses. George O’Brien becomes almost gothically depressed by his affair and plots a Dreiser-like boat accident for Gaynor, his sweet wife. This doom hovers and flits like moonlight over the rest of the film, which lithely tries to dodge it.

    Murnau captivated the Americans with his legendary “invisible” tracking shots, and together with double exposures, expressive lighting, and distorted sets, the viewer is immersed in the fate of these simple characters. Sunrise won three Oscars at the very first Academy Awards ceremony honouring the 1927-1928 season. Janet Gaynor won for Best Actress; Charles Rosher and Karl Struss for Best Cinematography; and the film itself won a special Oscar for “Unique and Artistic Picture,” the only time this award has ever been given. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this restored edition of what Cahiers du cinéma described as “the single greatest masterwork in the history of the cinema.”

    • Restored high-definition transfer, progressively encoded
    • Original English intertitles
    • Original Movietone score (mono) and alternate Olympic Chamber Orchestra score (stereo)
    • Full-length audio commentary by ASC cinematographer John Bailey
    • Outtakes with either John Bailey commentary or intertitles
    • Murnau’s 4 Devils: Traces of a Lost Film — Janet Bergstrom’s 40-minute documentary about the lost film Murnau made for Fox after Sunrise
    • Original theatrical trailer
    • Original ‘photoplay’ script by Carl Mayer with Murnau’s handwritten annotations (150 pages in pdf format)
    • 40-page illustrated booklet with essays by Robin Wood, Lotte H. Eisner, R. Dixon Smith, Lucy Fischer and David Pierce

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      USA | 95 min.
      1.20:1 OAR
      black & white

  • Price: 49.99
    UK Sterling (new)(includes UK postage & packaging)

    To reserve this item please e-mail by clicking here and include country ordering from. I will then get back to you within 24 hours with availability, price including postage and methods of payment (paypal, cheque, which is preferred, po etc.).

  • Also available: (uk) | (us)

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