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

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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 Sept. 2009
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002J91V3K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 115,860 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Holliday on 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 11 people found the following review helpful By Paul Shikata on 6 Sept. 2013
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 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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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By D. Moloney on 23 Sept. 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Film Buff on 10 Jun. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a stunning and absolutely essential Masters of Cinema release of F. W. Murnau's iconic silent masterpiece Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927). No.1 in this fine company's catalog, the film has justifiably always been high on Top 10 lists of greatest films ever made and in this incarnation the film sparkles as never before. Alas, a 1937 fire in the Fox studio vault destroyed the original negative and a new one had to be struck from a surviving print. This means everyone has been deprived of seeing the film in its full pin-sharp glory for the last 75 years. The version (actually two versions) offered here is as fine as we are ever likely to have. MoC present the film on 3 discs. The first disc has the initial release Movietone version, the 'standard' one that everyone knows. The aspect ratio is 1.20:1 and comes with the option of two soundtracks - the standard Hugo Riesenfeld compilation of Romantic classics from Liszt through Wagner to Gounod (in Mono), and a more recent highly effective score composed by Timothy Brock (in stereo). The second disc has a version found in the Czech Republic which has an aspect ratio of 1.37:1. The film is cut by about ten minutes and has Czech supertitles. However, the visual quality of the print is astounding, far better than the Movietone version even if the same Mono soundtrack has been added to it. My personal preference is for the Movietone version together with the Brock default score. I wish the print could be as sharp as the Czech version, but feel a slight sacrifice in visual quality is justifiable in view of the film's apparent completeness. Murnau's fastidious visual style combining long languorous takes and exquisite painterly compositions with skillful montage and superimpositions is substantially clipped by the Czech version.Read more ›
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