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Import Blu-Ray/Region All pressing. The first silent film to be released on Blu-ray, F.W. Murnau's Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Eureka Entertainment. The disc contains the film's Movietone version as well as the recently discovered Czech version. The special features include an audio commentary by ASC cinematographer John Bailey, a documentary about the history of F.W. Murnau's lost film 4-Devils and more. Based on Herman Sudermann's A Trip To Tilsit, F.W Murnau's Sunrise is one of the most lavish silent films Fox produced. It was also the studio's first ever film to have a recorded score. Nowadays, it is consistently referred to as one of the greatest films of all time. Please note a DVD is also included in this Blu-Ray pressing but is PAL/Region 2 and not playable on US players. The Blu-Ray is fully playable however on all US BR players.
Top customer reviews
The film isn't terribly long, but it has a pace and development that makes it substantial. Not long, just . . . substantial.
I won't debate the artistic merits of the film itself, but the craft of film making, of classic drama is on full display here. It's so refreshingly different in that the film makers take for granted that the viewer can pay attention and figure things out for him/herself.
A simple story of love, betrayal, and redemption is transformed and elevated into a work of art captured on film thanks to director F.W. Murnau and cameramen Charles Rosher & Karl Struss. There are so many things to savor in this film, such as the breathtaking cinematography in the village scenes which is reminiscent of the 17th Century Dutch Masters, the Bauhaus influenced set designs of the City, or the remarkable performances by George O'Brien and Janet Gaynor (who won the first Best Actress Academy Award), that trying to compile a complete list of them here would take up too much space. It is the first film to officially feature a soundtrack (as opposed to sound on disc) and is the only movie to win an Oscar for "Unique & Artistic Production". The first Best Picture award went to WINGS.
The new U. S. Fox Blu-Ray / DVD combo pack is a cause for celebration as it provides us with the best surviving American version which looks remarkable considering its age and history. It also comes with a Czech version of the European release (which is 79 minutes instead of 94) as well as valuable audio commentary and your choice of the original Fox Movietone soundtrack (which has been sonically remastered and sounds fantastic) or a newly recorded score by Timothy Brock and the Oympia Chamber Orchestra. There are also outtakes, the original script, and promotional materials as well. If you are truly a lover of cinema then you need to see SUNRISE and decide its status for yourself. Like all truly great films, it can be watched over and over again and that is the highest compliment I can bestow.
Janet Gaynor and George O'Brien shine in this love story about a couple who have fallen out of love, right around the time of the birth of their first child. O'Brien is filled with wander-lust and Gaynor seems powerless to excite her husband. O'Brien decides to take Gaynor to a trip to the city...but what happens next will change their lives forever.
One version of the movie is the Movietone (US) version which is 93 minutes long, and the other version is the Czech version which is 79 minutes long. The Czech version is missing some footage, but it is clearer and has a higher resolution than the Movietone version.
The Czech version also has slightly more width (1.37:1) to the image compared to the Movietone version (1.20:1) which evidently was cut down a bit to incorporate a soundtrack back in the day when this movie was originally being edited. The two versions also have slightly different title cards with some of the Movietone title cards having an animated effect. It was common back in the silent era to film the same movie with two cameras side by side: one version was for U.S. distribution and the other was for Europe. It is likely for this reason that some of the footage may appear to be shot from a slightly different angle. The Czech version also has optional English subtitles. This is a UK release with all of these discs being playable on North American blu-ray players, however the dvds might not play on all North American dvd players.
There is an interesting full-length commentary by John Bailey on the Movietone version as well as some rare outtakes from the film. Both versions have been restored but with careful remastering so one will see some scratches on the print since some of these were actually believed to have existed on the original print. There is also a forty minute documentary which reconstructs a lost Murnau film called "4 Devils". A 19 page booklet has essays on the film restoration and a comparison of the two versions of the movie presented here.
Most recent customer reviews
Firstly I see Sunrise in a much more intimate manner than I did...Read more