(out of 5)
This beautiful film won the only Academy Award ever given out for Best ‘Unique And Artistic Picture’, and it was well-deserved. It tells the story of a plain-jane housewife (Janet Gaynor, who tries to be plain but is clearly not) whose husband dabbles with a city girl who convinces him to kill his wife and live with her forever. Amidst his attempt to drown his lovely spouse, the husband has a crisis of guilt and decides not to do it, instead spending a magical evening in the big city with her and falling in love with her all over again. F.W. Murnau’s direction is complete with solid acting, gorgeous cinematography and eye-popping set design. Gaynor won the first Best Actress award for this and two other films, and though it has no synchronized dialogue, the film doesn’t feel like it has aged a single day.
Directed by F.W. Murnau
Produced by William Fox
Production Design by Rochus Gliese
Film Editing by Howard D. Schuster