(F. W. Murnau, US 1930, 77 min., 35mm)
Silent Tuesdays. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, director of legendary German films such as Nosferatu and The Last Laugh, was brought to Hollywood by William Fox, for whom he made three films: Sunrise, the now-lost Four Devils, and this transcendent tale of rural/city conflict. Charles Farrell goes to the city as his father’s agent to sell wheat from the family farm and falls in love with waitress Mary Duncan. After Farrell and Duncan impulsively marry and return to the farm, father David Torrence’s disapproval and the farmhands’ behavior toward the new bride rapidly make a tense situation hellish. Murnau’s humanity and romanticism permeate this production, one of the very last American silents, sweepingly photographed by Ernest Palmer. Live musical accompaniment by Philip C. Carli.