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 Movietone versions (both silent with different inter-titles.) There are more expensive and intensive versions. One thing I found fascinating is that I try to get the screen play to various movies. This DVD version has the 130 page screen play built in.
This is not my favorite subject and I usually avoid movies of this type, of betrayal and redemption. I prefer ghoulies and ghosties. I also prefer war and peace or at least "The Love of Jeanne Ney" (1928). But because this film is a keystone in cinema it is required watching. I did see a part of this film prior in a survey "The Story of Film: An Odyssey" (2011) by Mark Cousins.
The film is based on a short story by Hermann Sudermann. "This song of the Man and his Wife is of no place and every place; you might hear it anywhere and at any time."
A marriage is threatened when the husband (George O'Brien) allows himself to go astray after being lured by a woman (Margaret Livingston) from the city. There are a few tear jerker scenes after the Husband almost dispatches his Wife. He does not see the error of his ways until he thinks he has lost his wife (Janet Gaynor,) does he realize who he really loves? Yes. Who does he blame for his mishap? The "Woman from the City" for leading him astray, as it was not his fault.
I did like the scene in the photography studio where they look for the lost head.
You definitely want to listen to the voice over commentary by Cinematographer John Bailey as it adds worth to the viewing experience. The commentary points out the obvious that is not really that obvious. You discover that it was filmed at Lake Arrowhead. Also you bet a different prospective on Murnau's life story. John Bailey does not know where the `Amon Carter Museum" is located, but we can forgive him as he presents an excellent commentary.The Story of Film: An OdysseyNew York to Hollywood: The Photography of Karl Struss