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City Girl [Masters of Cinema] [Blu-ray] [1930] [Region Free]

Charles Farrell , Mary Duncan , F.W. Murnau    Parental Guidance   Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £30.50
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Product details

  • Actors: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan
  • Directors: F.W. Murnau
  • Format: Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Feb 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0030GBSSE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,561 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

After the visual fireworks of Sunrise and the now-lost splendour of 4 Devils, F.W. Murnau turned his attention to this vivid, painterly study of an impulsive and fragile marriage among the wheatfields of Minnesota. During a brief stay in Chicago, innocent farmer s son Lem falls for and weds Kate, a hard-bitten but lonely waitress. Upon bringing her home at the start of harvest time, the honeymoon soon turns into a claustrophobic struggle as they contend with the bitter scorn of his father and the invasive, leering jealousy of the farm s labouring community. Tenderly romantic and tough-minded in equal measure, City Girl is one of cinemas great pastorals, featuring some of the most delicate performances Murnau ever directed and influencing filmmakers such as Terrence Malick and Jean Vigo. ****NEW SPECIAL EDITION including: --Restored high-definition transfer of the silent version by 20th Century Fox --A new score, composed and arranged in 2008 by Christopher Caliendo --Exclusive full-length audio commentary by film scholar David Kalat --40-page illustrated booklet with new writing and reprints


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film, breathtaking transfer 13 July 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
City Girl, a film often overshadowed by F.W. Murnau's earlier silent masterpiece, 'Sunrise', is a brilliant film and really deserves a full re-evaluation. Happily, this stunning transfer by the Masters of Cinema series, allows just that.

City Girl was released in 1930, just as the silent film began to fall into rapid decline with the advent of the 'talkies'. However, by this time Murnau really was a master of his craft, having cut his teeth with 1922's eerie 'Nosferatu', by the time he released 'Sunrise' six years later he had cemented his position as one of the world's most important (not to mention successful) filmakers. It was also, tragically, his penultimate film, as he was to die in a car crash the following year. Comparisons with 'Sunrise', then, are unfair, as Murnau wanted to create a different kind of film here.

The story is a simple one. A farmer's son, Lem, is sent to the city to sell the families' harvest of wheat. Whilst on his eye-opening business trip, he meets Kate, a cafe worker. A wonderful sequence ensures, resulting in the girl being taken back to the farm with Lem as his wife. However, Lem's uncompromising father is deeply suspicious of this city girl, and the film follows Kate's attempts to become accepted by the father. The early interchanges between Kate and Lem are beautiful, and the scene with them playfully running through the wheatfields ahead of meeting Lem's family is one of the purest, happiest scenes ever committed to film.

This film is a great starting point for anyone interested in silent cinema - there are title cards throughout, and with a fantastic soundtrack recorded in 2008, it is easy to forget you are watching a film 80 years old.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Symphony Of Wheat 9 Mar 2010
By Brady Orme VINE VOICE
Format:Blu-ray
F.W. Murnau is one of my favourite filmmakers, and due to his undisputed status as a German pioneer alongside the likes of Fritz Lang, it's doubftful this will ever change as can any contemporary director do anything other than simply retread the territory these men have traversed before? From his films for UFA, such as "Phantom", "Faust" and "Der Letze Mann" and his later American works such as the masterful "Sunrise" he continuously pushed the envelope, making films with little spoken narrative ("Der Letze Mann") and pioneering use of special effects and camera angles ("Faust", "Sunrise"). Only Lang's Dr. Mabuse stirs the same nostalgia within us.

So what of "City Girl"? It's definately a step-back from Murnau's earlier extravagance, with little effect work and an almost pastoral feel, which is not surprising considering the film's rural Minnesota setting and attempt by Murnau himself to create "A Symphony of Wheat". The film details the story of Lem, a young farmer's son on his first outing to Chicago to sell their farm's wheat - There he meets Kate who is waitressing at a restaurant there, and ends up thrown headlong into a dream romance that ends within a few days with them being married... Oh, and he makes a loss on the wheat. Which was the lesser of the two evils, me wonders? Sorry, I'm not a fan of marriage. Anyway, Lem's Scottish father is not happy when Lem brings his new bride home, and as the typical fish-out-of-water Kate is subjected to trials-by-fire by the father, and the amorous advances of the workforce. Expect much tension within the new marriage that soon comes to a head as a massive hailstorm threatens to devastate the entire crop.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost lost piece of history 4 Aug 2011
Format:Blu-ray
I well remember back in the 1970s that the New York Film Festival had a mini-festival of films that had recently been found and restored; they included Jeanne Eagles' "The Letter," Raoul Walsh's "Regeneration," Frank Borzage's "Liliom," and this film. Since it was a film made by Murnau, there was immediate interest.

Thankfully, all of the films listed have been released on DVD and are all worth seeing. "City Girl" is a beautiful film despite it's flaws, which were not Murnau's fault. As is known, the studio demanded that sound sequences be added to the film, and took final cut away from him. The silent version of this film seems to be the only one still available, and comes the closest to what he originally wanted.

The Masters of Cinema series similarly issued a Blu-ray of Murnau's "Sunrise." Both were licensed from 20th Century-Fox and were issued in a big DVD box here in the U.S. But Blu-ray makes the difference; both films are luminous. You don't get much better than this given the source material and the age. And even better: they are region-free, so they play on my Blu-ray player which is region 1.

If you love silent films, "City Girl" belongs in your collection. I recommend it without hesitation.
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