For 1 Year, 100 Movies, I will watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list (compiled in 2007) in one year- and will complete a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. Come along on the ride with me- oh, and please pass the popcorn!
Sunrise is a silent film all about the marriage of a man and a woman- no names in the film since the town, characters and situation is meant to be timeless. The premise of the movie is that the husband has an affair with a vacationing woman from the ‘city’ and even though he is angry about it, she comes up with a plan for the husband to drown his wife – and it looks like he’ll go through with it. As he’s going for his wife on the boat he stops himself, realizing he can’t go through with it. Once they reach land she runs away from him and he takes chase to try to apologize. They happen upon a wedding in progress and he is overcome with the vows and begs his wife to forgive him. She does, and they spend a happy evening in town. On the way back in the boat a storm comes up suddenly and the wife is lost in the waves. The husband is so overcome with grief and he has the whole town come and help look for her. She cannot be found and he returns back to his farm where the city girl is waiting for him. He sees her and goes after her and starts to choke her when the maid calls out that the wife has been found. The film ends with the husband and the wife embracing with their child, and the city girl riding away in a wagon.
As a film, it was not bad at all. I’ve not seen many silent films, so I can’t really compare this one to others, but it seemed like they didn’t show the words people were saying in text very often. They depended on the actors doing their jobs with their facial expressions and movements to tell the story. I do think the wife forgave the husband a tad quickly after he tried to drown her to make room for another woman- but despite that the reconciliation scene was sweet. It was an interesting movie, and I’m glad it was on the list so I saw it.
In my humble, non-professional, average movie-goer opinion this movie earns: