City Girl

1930

Action / Drama / Romance

59
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 2421

Synopsis


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 27,595 times
December 21, 2013 at 09:19 AM

Director

Cast

Charles Lane as Pedestrian walking in train station
Anne Shirley as Marie Tustine
720p.BLU
698.99 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 17 min
P/S 2 / 9

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 8 / 10

This is a review of the silent version!

Copyright 10 January 1930 by Fox Film Corporation. U.S. release: 16 February 1930. 8,217 feet. 91 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: A farm boy arrives in Chicago to sell his father's wheat crop, falls for a waitress, marries her and takes her home to Minnesota. His father does not approve and tries to come between the boy and his bride.

NOTES: Filmed as a silent-fortunately Murnau's original cut of the movie survives-City Girl was then considerably tinkered with by studio management in order to turn it into a part-talkie, with disastrous results. The stage play opened on Broadway at the Bijou on 20 August 1925 and ran a modestly successful 52 performances. Helen MacKellar and Buford Armitage starred; Willard Mack directed.

COMMENT: Beautifully filmed, superbly acted (particularly by Charles Farrell and Mary Duncan) romance of the wheatfields, the silent version is available on an excellent DVD from Grapevine Video. The city scenes are so startling in their impressionistic (but nonetheless hectic) pace, which all comes to a charming coda when the lovers meet, we wonder what Murnau is holding in reserve to beguile us back on the farm. We're not kept long in suspense. After a lyrical introduction as the lovers run through the wheat fields, we are brought down to earth when miserly in words, deeds and manner David Torrence comes back on the scene.

How these three clashing personalities resolve their differences is worked out forcefully, if a little melodramatically, but nonetheless in a satisfyingly picturesque manner, thanks equally to the consummate skill of F.W. Murnau in staging, the engrossing acting of the principals, and the superbly lit camerawork of Ernest Palmer.

Reviewed by statesofunrest 5 / 10

Everything was good but the story...

I liked the acting, the cinematography, you could tell the director knew what he was doing. I just didn't like the story, too many clich├ęs, no twist was unpredictable, If someone gave you just the premise (boy marries girl in the city and move to the country to help his father on the farm) you could probably guess every major plot point of the entire film. Maybe the things in this movie weren't as well-known tropes like they are now, but it kind of made me dislike the movie just seeing how overdone everything in the movie was. Would have given it a higher score otherwise, the story just brought it down.

Reviewed by st-shot 7 / 10

Bitter harvest

FW Murnau returns to his urban evil versus rural good theme in this visually striking but lean story involving a Minnesota farmer, a Chicago waitress and the external conflict created by their union.

Hayseed Lem Tustine (Charles Farrell) is sent by his dad (David Torrence) to Chicago to sell his wheat crop at a set price. Fending off flirtation on the train he meets kate a waitress in a chaotic restaurant while the wheat price dips. After a whirlwind courtship they marry and he returns home with the a wife and bad news about the wheat. Seeing his son as a rube who lost money and now being exploited by a city girl he explodes chides and emasculates the son. When the help shows up to harvest the wheat they get an eyeful of Lem's wife and like what they see. Things really take a turn for the worse when the crop is threatened and the bunk house boys rebel.

Given their similar theme and settings City Girl cannot avoid comparison to Murnau's classic Sunrise and while it does not rise to its stature, it retains his outstanding use of film language. Once again we have one of cinema's great visual storytellers unfold in image after image scenes of magnificent panorama and intense emotional close-up conveyed without utterance of a word. Scenes such as the camera riding on the wagon with the reapers and in a moment that teems with ironic beauty the arrival of the newlyweds in the wheat field at the farm glow with vitality and movement under the masterly hand of Murnau..

Mary Duncan as Kate is a restrained Swanson who has her best scenes with the stern, violent father played by David Torrence in a restrained version of his bro Ernest. Edith Yorke cowers and frets as ma while Richard Alexander as Mac excels as a harboring menace. Charles Farrell is mealy and spineless in a reprise of his Sunrise character in the throes of moral dilemma but without that dark side his performance annoys.

Flaws exist with some slow moments midway, the improbable actions of the hired hands and the father's stifling character limits the stories growth but Murnau for the most part provides us with more than a few gripping moments while deepening the cynicism and lasciviousness of his cast with expressive and informative closeups with little reliance on title cards. It is a thin story lushly told by a master.

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