Director: F. W. Murnau
Starring: George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
Genre: Drama, Romance
“This song of the Man and his Wife is of no place and every place; you might hear it anywhere, at any time.”
Murnau begins this film with the quote above, unfortunately, or fortunately, this is true. His first American movie, and maybe, the best one, won 3 Oscars in 1929. It deserved every one of it.
The story starts with an arranged woman, who wants to go somewhere. Someone from her family polishes her shoes and after that, she leaves. She heads to a farm, where live a Man and his Wife with their baby. At the gate, she starts to whistle, the moment that, he goes out, and kisses her. At this time, the Wife thinks about him and his mistress and cries. Near a lake, the mistress suggests him to move in the city and leave the farm behind, and to kill his wife so that it looks like an accident. That’s all I’m gonna tell you about the plot because this film is too good.
On the acting part, the protagonists create the whole movie. Murnau’s characters are very simple but they are credible and impress you deeply. I want to mention the scene at the church, which is unforgettable. The actors manage to convey emotions, although the movie is silent. And to all of that, music contributes also from suspense to romance.
On the filming part, I loved how after some dialogues about the past, we watch that past. Another technical procedure I enjoyed is at the scene near the lake, where we see images on the sky with the city above the 2 lovers. I also liked how they showed his thoughts about killing his Wife.
I hope you’ll watch this movie because this might be the best Murnau’s movie, one of the best directors of all time. Stay safe and enjoy it!