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Sunrise [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] [1927]

George O'Brien , Janet Gaynor , F.W. Murnau    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston, Bodil Rosing
  • Directors: F.W. Murnau
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Eureka Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Sep 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002J91V3K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,821 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

This new 2009 reissue of SUNRISE (for the first time anywhere in the world in 1080p HD on Blu-ray, in addition to a newly mastered 2 x DVD set) contains two versions of the film: the previously released Movietone version, and an alternate silent version of the film recently discovered in the Czech Republic. The Blu-ray edition includes both versions in 1080p HD. The culmination of one of the greatest careers in film history, F. W. Murnau's Sunrise blends a story of fable-like simplicity with unparalleled visual imagination and technical ingenuity. Invited to Hollywood by William Fox and given total artistic freedom on any project he wished, Murnau's tale of the idyllic marriage of a peasant couple (George O'Brien and Janet Gaynor) threatened by a Machiavellian seductress from the city (Margaret Livingston) created a milestone of film expressionism. Made in the twilight of the silent era, it became both a swan song for a vanishing medium and one of the few films to instantly achieve legendary status. Winner of three Oscars for Best Actress (Gaynor), Cinematography, and a neverrepeated award for "Unique and Artistic Picture", its influence and stature has only grown with each passing year. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present a new 2-disc special edition of the film, including an all-new alternate version recently discovered in a Czech archive of a higher visual quality than any other known source. ************SPECIAL FEATURES: -- Restored high-definition transfers of two different versions: the American Movietone version, and the silent Czech version. -- Original English intertitles on the Movietone version, and optional English subtitles on the silent Czech version. -- Original Movietone score (mono) and alternate Olympic Chamber Orchestra score (stereo) -- Full-length audio commentary by ASC cinematographer John Bailey on the Movietone version -- Outtakes with either John Bailey commentary or intertitles -- Murnau s 4 Devils: Traces of a Lost Film Janet Bergstrom s updated 40-minute documentary about the lost Murnau film -- Original theatrical trailer -- Original photoplay script by Carl Mayer with Murnau s handwritten annotations (150 pages in pdf format) -- 16-page illustrated booklet with numerous essays including a new reprint of a piece by Dudley Andrew.


Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible restoration of a seminal classic 23 Sep 2009
Format:Blu-ray
As a relatively new fan of Silent films, I had not yet seen the Murnau classic Sunrise.
I held off purchasing the DVD when I heard the news that Eureka were going to release the film on Blu-ray.
It was worth the wait.

Sunrise : A song of two humans comes in two flavours on this single blu-ray disc edition with the Movietone version and the Czech version both included. There are also several extras and a nice little booklet with some artwork and text pertaining to the restoration and other aspects of the effort to bring this seminal classic to the world once more in what certainly is the definitive release of this title.

F.W Murnau was a genius filmamker who incorporated incredible detail into all of his films. Favoured by William Fox, he was given alot of freedom to make movies as he wanted them to be. At this point in 1927, Silent films were a dying medium due to the introduction of talkies or sound films.
But one could also say that Sunrise is a good example of how far film had come after nearly 40 years of development, especially at a time when sound was set to further evolve the medium.

The plot is a simple story about love and betrayal. I won't spoil any of it.
But needless to say the performances are wonderful. Janet Gaynor puts in a bravura performance as the betrayed wife while George O' Brien plays his role as the husband with exceptional expressionism.
Though more typical of the late 20's productions, grand, vast locations are featured throughout such as in the city, at a fairground and in huge dinner dance halls filled with hundreds of people. So many people of the era are captured on film. The social history element here makes this an attractive purchase for researchers and historians.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
i had almost had a heart attack after quickly unwrapping the blu-ray only to look at the back and notice the label stating blu-ray REGION B and dvd REGION 2 ..... only to recall making sure it WAS region free using dvdbeaver as the reference ......

so i nervously checked if the dvds and the blu-ray would play on my REGION A/1 player and whew ! yes they do.

so don't worry about what this amazon.co.uk page states .... as it reflects the labelling on the blu-ray combo case. but make sure it's the THREE disc version.

what a wonderful package.

check the many wonderful reviews here for details regarding the films themselves!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could the Czech version be definitive? 24 April 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There's a heading that will get me into trouble!

There are two versions on the Masters of Cinema release - the well known US print and a silent version (the Czech version). The US version is around 90 minutes long while the silent version is around 80. Few will disagree that the silent version has the better picture (by far) but the general view is that the familiar US print is the better and definitive version. I'm not so sure.

It is true that the Czech version uses alternate takes and sometimes has different edits, but most of what is missing is a few frames here and there, rather than entire sequences. And many of these alternate takes are actually better than those in the US version (compare the husband buying and almost forgetting to buy flowers for his wife in the silent version to the US print for example; the silent version is a better take). And some of the (very few) missing bits are better left missing - in general the more obvious and corny moments have been discarded but none of the scenes and moments of genuine feeling are absent (I am wondering if this was deliberate (that these were insertions rather than omissions), for the US market, in much the same way Fox insisted some comedy be inserted for audiences that they thought would be unhappy with the heavy and depressing opening act - at least that's what the commentary tells us). Furthermore, it is unarguable that the screen ratio is better in the silent one (the US print is narrower than normal to make way for an analogue soundtrack down the left side. Makes me wonder just which version (European) Murnau thought was the 'real' one. We may have been watching the wrong one all these years! There is no documentation to tell us one way or the other.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playable in Canada and US 16 Feb 2010
Format:Blu-ray
This movie is a masterpiece of late silent films made for Fox Film Company (later Twentieth-Century-Fox) by master filmmaker, F. W. Murnau.

This Blu-Ray is a revelation. I saw the "Movietone" version (included here) when it was released in Canada and the US as a standard DVD a couple of years ago. The recently discovered Czech print (also included in this package)is vastly superior. Because the original reel for this version did not include space for a soundtrack, the whole width is dedicated to a much wider picture.

I am not waiting for Twentieth Century-Fox video in North America to release this. This version plays perfectly well on my Blu-Ray player. This must be a region-free disk.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Cinema's Last (And Mightiest) Gasp. 22 Sep 2009
By Brady Orme VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
At certain times in Cinema's long and varied history, films have appeared that aren't just genius for their own sake, but also herald in a new epoch. Films like Jolson's "The Jazz Singer" heralded in the age of dialogue (and okay, it wasn't a very GOOD film as such), Darren Aronofsky's "Pi" introduced the use of the Snorricam, and so on. Less attention is given to those films that find themselves at the tail-end of such an era. F.W. Murnau's first Hollywood production, "Sunrise : A Song Of Two Humans" is one of those, and can almost be said to be the Swan-Song of epic Silent Cinema, along with films such as "Ashphalt" and "Pandora's Box". And wow, what a Swan-Song it is. Lush, abstract, stylised, a film that sees German Impressionism crash with the Hollywood machine in all it's mangled glory. It's no surprise that the film was nominated for a number of awards at the very first Oscars in 1928 - Hell, it should have swept the board.

Dealing in a story that shys away from specifics, "The Man" (George O'Brien) and "The Woman" (Janet Gaynor) are married, unhappily it seems as "The Man" wishes to elope with "The Woman From The City" (Margaret Livingston) and murder "The Woman" in the process. Attempting to do so whilst together on a boat, "The Man" cannot bring himself to do it after recollecting his once passionate Love for his wife... The rekindle their Love after a day in the eponymous city, and tragically his wife dies on the way back via the boat. Enraged with fury at his mistress (rather misguidedly I thought) he attempts to kill her, but stops short after news that his wife has been found alive quells his ire. All rather basic, but what sets! and what expressions O'Brien and Gaynor bring to a film minus dialogue!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent just what I wanted. A great price and fast shipping form an excellent seller. Highly recommended A +++++++++++
Published 7 days ago by doberella
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Film. Classic Transfer.
Years ago, I purchased this film in a DVD set from 20th Century Fox. It was a very good transfer of the film in that medium, however, it pales in comparison to this edition. Read more
Published 5 months ago by D. Solomon
5.0 out of 5 stars A true masterpiece of silent cinema
For very good reason this is regarded as one of the greatest films of the silent era. A beautiful story of love, betrayal, loss and redemption, is transcends time and is utterly... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Swingin' Drummer
5.0 out of 5 stars WHETHER BLURAY OR DVD IS ALL RIGHT.
WHETHER BLURAY OR DVD IS ALL RIGHT. SAME FILM, SAME BONUS MATERIALS(UHH...WHAT?), ALMOST ORDINARY STANDARD PACKAGE. IS IT REALLY NECESSARY TO BUY BLURAY?
Published 5 months ago by HAN XIAO
5.0 out of 5 stars It ends in a kiss and the sun also rises
I like most films of this time and Blu-ray (DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014) does it proud. I only watched the version that has the duel original European version and the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars A story well told.
Viewed the DVD(the Czech print) only.Considering the release date of the actual film in cinemas the image quality is excellent. I liked it.
Published 6 months ago by dq
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This 1927 film is a magnificent achievement, a rollercoaster of emotion, and beautifully done. What impressed me was the way Murnau lets the camera linger in emotional scenes,... Read more
Published 9 months ago by A reader in England
5.0 out of 5 stars The Irony in the Bullrushes
Yes, it's a poem of a film and the first 30 minutes are full of awesome emotional power. Very convincingly acted in an almost operatic fashion with all the well-written-about... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mario
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb blu-ray treatment of a magnificent film
Some consider it the finest silent film ever made. It is on my top five favorite films of all times. Janet Gaynor deservedly won the very first Best Actress Oscar. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dennis J. Pauly
4.0 out of 5 stars Sunrise
A truly fascinating and enjoyable movie. Some great cinematography, period shots and wonderful acting. A must in any film buff's collection.
Published 14 months ago by Francis
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