Quick recap: Girls from the City are evil creatures who wreak havoc on everyone they come into contact with. Avoid at all costs.
Fun (?) fact: The city scenes were all filmed on a set, not an actual city.
My thoughts: Despite what my 1001 Movies book says, Sunrise is TOTALLY a melodrama. A farmer has an affair with a Girl From the City (she doesn’t have a name and neither does any other character), which crushes his perfectly sweet wife. He’s totally a jerk about the whole thing, even rushing out to meet her while his wife is cooking dinner. She puts it in his head that he needs to kill his wife during a boat ride, which is about as melodramatic as you can get. During the ride, the wife figures the whole thing out and manages to escape. She pouts for awhile when they get to the city because, you know, she was almost murdered and that can bring anyone down. The farmer continues to beg for forgiveness, at one point even offering her a whole plate of sandwiches. I’m not sure what was socially acceptable back then, but I imagine that most people would have a hard time getting over attempted murder with a plate of sandwiches. Anyway, while pouting, the couple heads into a church where a wedding is taking place. The farmer has a revelation that he shouldn’t have been such a jerk, and the two fall madly in love again. Awww.
But wait, there’s more! As the ‘newlyweds’ head back to their farm in the boat, a storm comes out of nowhere and irony upon ironies! the boat flips over and the Wife is presumed to be dead. I’ll admit that the film had almost won me over until this point, and then I lost interest because I’m just not a melodramatic kind of person. Thankfully, all of this happens at the very end so I didn’t have to endure for very long. And it was worth watching because the Girl From the City meets up with the Farmer, thinking he went through with the plan. She expects him to say that he’s ready to move with her, but instead he strangles her and it’s kind of awesome. And of course, the Wife was not actually drowned and was found perfectly fine. They all lived happily ever after, except for the Girl From the City who was strangled.
Silent films tend to be overally emotional due to the fact that the actors must physically show how they feel since they can’t say it. Sunrise is no exception, but it mostly worked for me and wasn’t annoying. In the beginning of the film, the Farmer walks around like his boots are made out of lead, to represent the struggles he is dealing with (mainly him being a jerk). I appreciated watching his unhappiness rather than just reading it on a title card. And as I stated before, the Wife is about as perfect as anyone can get, so there’s no mistake as to who is ruining the marriage (actually there is , because it’s 1927, so it’s the city girl’s fault and not the poor Farmer’s doing). The scenes where the husband and wife reconnect are pretty silly, but also seem genuine and I really enjoyed them. For a melodrama, there were many moments that could’ve been over the top, yet came across as sweet and innocent. Still not a fan generally, but this one was rather ok.
Final review: 4/5
Up next: STAR WARS