- Actors: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston, Bodil Rosing
- Directors: F.W. Murnau
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- 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: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B002J91V3K
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,914 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Sunrise [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] 
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent film with interesting features. The commentary in particular is very interesting. There are two somewhat different versions of the outtakes: one with an audio commentary... Read morePublished 8 days ago by George Haralambakis
Genuinely a classic film. Terrific cinematography and characterisation with an easy-to-follow story line.Published 7 months ago by K. H. Tonge
What can we say about arguably the greatest film from the silent era. A banal story packed with emotional wallop, superb acting (in the style of the times)and trail blazing... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Graham McIlroy
From the opening innovative shot of titles dissolving into 'reality’ through the 93 minutes (of the Movietone version) until we see the sun indeed rising, German film-maker F W... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Keith M
I have to remember this was made in 1927.
Perhaps it was top billing then.
My guess is this film appeals to film historians or maybe someone old enough to get nostalgic... Read more
This is a black and white silent film, first released in 1927. Focusing on the story of a rather naive young married man with a pretty wife and an adorable baby,who live the simple... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Caitlin Owen