Part of our Film 100
The American Film Institute Essentials
Sunrise won an Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production at the first ever Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.
Director F.W. Murnau's emotional odyssey stars George O'Brien and Janet Gaynor as a country couple whose marriage is threatened when O'Brien falls prey to cosmopolitan temptress Margaret Livingston's feminine wiles.
Imbued with an intoxicating ambiance in style and substance, the lyrical silent film also won Academy Awards for Best Actress (Gaynor) and Best Cinematography.
In 1937, the original negative was destroyed in a nitrate fire. A new negative was created from a surviving print. And in 1989, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the United States Library of Congress for films that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
The silent film will be accompanied by "Goldie" the Wurlitzer Organ, played by Avery Tunningley.
Avery Tunningley: "Sunrise is a very powerful movie. It is filled with hope that love will somehow find a way. My musical score was created to support the enormous range of emotion that the story holds. This musical interpretation can only be heard by audiences who attend the March 11th showings. The arrangements were adapted specifically for Goldie, the mighty Wurlitzer organ and can only be played at Proctors. The score includes old dance tunes, classical selections and historic "Photoplay" music, in addition to the music that I wrote myself. The broad range of styles will demonstrate the great versatility of the organ. With selections ranging from soulful ballades to huge technical works there should be something for everyone. A silent movie is given new life when a new score is written for it. It is a great thrill to bring my interpretation of Sunrise to Proctors!"
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