in about 100 words or less
US 89m, B&W, Silent
Director: F.W. Murnau; Cast: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, David Torrence, Edith Yorke, Anne Shirley, Tom McGuire
City Girl is the story of a woman who marries a wheat farmer’s son and moves to the country only to find that she is not welcome by her father-in-law. Told in two parts, the first half of the film explores the alienating nature of the city, while establishing the virtues of rural life and family. During the second half, back on the farm, Murnau shatters the myth that country folk are inherently better people. City Girl could be considered a fitting bookend to Sunrise (1927), in which a rural husband is seduced by a wicked woman from the city. Though lesser known and under appreciated, largely because Murnau did not personally oversee the film’s completion, it nevertheless contains stunning cinematography, including images of wheat fields during harvest which resemble Malick’s 1978 film, Days of Heaven (Klaus Ming April 2015).