Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 34 mins

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Directed by FW Murnau, starring George O Brien, Janet Gaynor and Margaret Livingston in the lead roles.
Did you know? Sunrise opened in New York at the Time Square Theatre on September 23rd, 1927 with a symphonic Movietone accompaniment. The Jazz Singer (1927) didn't arrive until the 6th of October at the Warner Theatre. Read More
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as The Man
as The Wife
as The Woman From the City
as The Obtrusive Gentleman
as Ballroom Dancer / Kissing Couple
as Villager
as The Maid
as Money Lender
as The Obliging Gentleman
as Dancer
as Performer - Song: 'Tozo
as Angry Driver
as Manager of Hair Salon
as Carnival Gallery Man with Pig
as Streetcar Conductor
as The Photographer
as The Manicure Girl
as Barber
as Head Waiter
as The Barber
as Woman in Dance Hall
as Ballroom Dancer / Kissing Couple
as Dance Hall Manager
as Old Seaman
Supporting Actress


Assistant Director


Production Company


Screenplay Writer
Story Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography
Still Photographer
Assistant Cameraman


Art Director
Prop Master
Assistant Art Director


Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist

Special Effects

Special Effects Technician
Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Mono, Silent
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1, 2.35 : 1
The number of bottles left on the table after the piglet bumps it changes between shots. There are five bottles when the piglet bumps it, but when the Man comes in and grabs the piglet there are seven bottles on it.

When the Farmer is holding his son, he sets him on his Wife's lap twice.
The original negatives of the film were destroyed in a fire in 1937.

Rumor has that George O'Brien was forced to wear lead boots in the early passages of the film when the Man is weighed down with guilt over his decision to kill his wife.

The scenes in the city were not filmed on location. They were filmed on a vast and expensive set, built especially for the movie.

F.W. Murnau hated using title cards in his films. Thus, in Sunrise (1927), the title cards become more and more infrequent as the film progresses and virtually non-existent by the end.

Was the first and only film to win the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS) 'Best Picture' award in the category of "Artistic Quality of Production" (or "Unique and Artistic Picture"). This was the only year that this award was ever given out.

The first silent film to be released on Blu-ray (by Eureka Entertainment on September 21st, 2009 in United Kingdom).

Many of the superimpositions throughout the film were created "in the camera". The camera would shoot one image at the side of the frame, blacking out the rest of the shot, then expose the film. They would put the exposed film back into the camera and shoot again, blocking out the area that already had an image on it.

The first feature film released using the Fox Movietone system, it was the first professionally produced feature film with an actual sound track.

In the original score, the music used in the scene in the photographer's studio after the couple knocks over the statue is the "Funeral March of a Marionette," by Charles Gounod - the same music that was the theme decades later (and with a quicker tempo) for Alfred Hitchcock's TV series.

Sunrise (1927) was released a month after The Jazz Singer (1927). Although feted by the critics and containing a then highly progressive use of sound, it failed to connect with audiences who were now clamoring for films where the actors spoke in them.

Fox studio's first ever feature film with a recorded score.

The name of the baby was Jerry Craycroft. An article in Decatur Review dated December 26, 1926, reported that "eight month old Jerry Craycroft is making a name for himself in the movies... he will be seen a Fox picture, Sunrise, with Janet Gaynor and George O'Brian (sic)". A Social Security Death Index search for a Jerry Craycroft reveals that he was born on Apr 3, 1926, Death: 27 Feb 2000.

Although well-received critically, this film did not do well at the box office, which led to the studio "reining in" F.W. Murnau creatively for his next several films.

In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #82 Greatest Movie of All Time. It was the first inclusion of this film on the list.

Included among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider.

Voted as the 5th greatest film of all time in Sight & Sound's 2012 critic's poll.

While Sunrise was the first Fox feature film to premiere with a Movietone sound track their 7th Heaven (1927) arrived earlier with a Movietone music track attached even though that film had already played its roadshow with a live score.

Janet Gaynor wore a blonde wig throughout the film. It attracted a lot of criticism at the time of release as audiences were used to seeing her with long dark hair instead.

Director F.W. Murnau wanted Camilla Horn (with whom he had worked in Germany on Faust (1926)) for the part of "The Wife", but she was under contract to the German studio UFA at the time and they refused to loan her out, so the part went to Janet Gaynor.

Sunrise opened in New York at the Time Square Theatre on September 23rd, 1927 with a symphonic Movietone accompaniment. The Jazz Singer (1927) didn't arrive until the 6th of October at the Warner Theatre.