Director: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau

Cast: George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston

USA 1927 | Black & White | 95mins | Drama | Romance

Avaliable on: 35mm, DCP

One of the undisputed pinnacles of silent cinema, this lyrical masterpiece from the director of Nosferatu and Faust is a study of betrayal, love and reconciliation. Seduced by a vamp from the city, a man from a small fishing village plans to murder his wife during a boat trip to town. However, both reach their destination unscathed and there, amid a dazzling panoply of urban attractions, the couple rediscover their love for each other.

Now in a sparkling new print, Sunrise will be re-released by the British Film Institute on 6 February 2004, offering filmgoers one of the most enchanting and heart-rending experiences that the cinema can offer. This new restoration is the result of a collaboration between the bfi National Film and Television Archive (NFTVA), the Academy Film Archive and Twentieth Century Fox. Murnau’s film was one of the first to use Fox’s sound-on-film process, and the 1927 world premiere in New York featured a Movietone recorded orchestral score compiled by the composer Hugo Riesenfeld. Based on the best surviving film elements, the bfi’s new print incorporates the first restoration of this wonderful original soundtrack.

Sunrise was awarded Oscars for Artistic Quality of Production (1927/28), Best Actress (for Janet Gaynor in conjunction with her roles in Frank Borzage's Seventh Heaven and Street Angel) and Best Cinematography (for Charles Rosher and Karl Struss).