Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Sunrise (1927)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Sunrise (1927)

In director F.W. Murnau's silent film classic - the winner of the first 'Best Picture' Academy Award for "Artistic Quality of Production":

  • impressionistic visuals of the camera work, including an impressive full-moon tracking shot
  • the erotic seduction scene under a full moon of a farmer (George O'Brien) who was first seen walking across a field and entering a misty swamp (where the trees parted to reveal a temptress) - he was greeted for a secret rendezvous by an awaiting wicked, black-clad seductress (Margaret Livingston) who suggested: "Sell your farm... come with me to the City"; she had plans to murder his young wife (Oscar-winning Janet Gaynor) ("Couldn't she get drowned?")
  • the tension in the attempted drowning/murder scene
  • the scene of the young couple's tram ride into the city
  • the romantic reconciliation sequences of their romantic day together in the city (as they kissed - the scenery changed behind them from traffic to a country scene), including the church scene
  • the loving reunion of the husband and presumed-drowned wife after she had been found alive, but unconscious; the husband was at his wife's bedside when she opened her eyes and turned her head on the pillow toward her husband. Their lips slowly drew together for a kiss, dissolving into the bright rays of an art-deco sun filling the screen
  • the word "Finis" floated upward to take the place of the sun as the music dramatically swelled


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z