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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans")

directed by F.W. Murnau
USA 1927

The culmination of one of the greatest careers in film history, F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise blends a story of fable-like simplicity with unparalleled visual imagination and technical ingenuity. Invited to Hollywood by William Fox and given total artistic freedom on any project he wished, Murnau’s tale of the idyllic marriage of a peasant couple (George O’Brien and Janet Gaynor) threatened by a Machiavellian seductress from the city (Margaret Livingston) created a milestone of film expressionism.

Made in the twilight of the silent era, it became both a swan song for a vanishing medium and one of the few films to instantly achieve legendary status. Winner of three Oscars for Best Actress (Gaynor), Cinematography, and a never-repeated award for “Unique and Artistic Picture”, its influence and stature has only grown with each passing year. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present a new 2xDVD and Blu-ray special edition of the film, including an all-new alternate version recently discovered in a Czech archive of a higher visual quality than any other known source.

Excerpt from the Masters of Cinema website located HERE

***

F. W. Murnau — invited to America by William Fox, the promise of complete artistic freedom, and a blank cheque — made Sunrise on the cusp of two eras: it represents the silent film at the peak of its poetic sophistication, and the sound film in its infancy. Fox told Murnau to take his time, to make any film he wished, and Sunrise was completed without any studio interference — as though with a dying flourish in a medium which at that moment had achieved a startling richness of expression. It was the swan song of the era.

Conceived by Murnau and written by Carl Mayer while they were both still in Germany, Sunrise takes a simple situation — the marriage of a peasant couple (George O'Brien and Janet Gaynor) from a country hamlet, invaded by a seductress from the city (Margaret Livingston) — and elevates it to the realm of fable, stripped of melodrama yet brimming with poetic impulses. George O'Brien becomes almost gothically depressed by his affair and plots a Dreiser-like boat accident for Gaynor, his sweet wife. This doom hovers and flits like moonlight over the rest of the film, which lithely tries to dodge it.

Murnau captivated the Americans with his legendary "invisible" tracking shots, and together with double exposures, expressive lighting, and distorted sets, the viewer is immersed in the fate of these simple characters. Sunrise won three Oscars at the very first Academy Awards ceremony honouring the 1927-1928 season. Janet Gaynor won for Best Actress; Charles Rosher and Karl Struss for Best Cinematography; and the film itself won a special Oscar for "Unique and Artistic Picture", the only time this award has ever been given. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this restored edition of what Cahiers du cinéma described as "the single greatest masterwork in the history of the cinema".out of

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 23rd, 1927 - USA

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Comparison:

Eureka (MoC) - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Eureka (MoC) 2-disc - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Eureka (MoC) - Region 2 - NTSC vs. 20th Century Fox  - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Eureka (2 disc) - Region 0 - PAL

 

1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - LEFT

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1 ) - Region 2 - NTSC THIRD

4) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

DistributionEureka (Masters of Cinema # 1 )
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Eureka 2-disc DVD (Masters of Cinema # 1 )
Region 0 -
NTSC
Eureka (Masters of Cinema # 1 )
Region 2 -
NTSC

20th Century Fox

Region 1  - NTSC

Eureka
Region 0 - PAL
Runtime1:34:21.697 - 1:19:03 (Czech version)1:34:36 - 1:19:03 (Czech version)1:34:511:34:191:30:30 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,923,389,773 bytes

Feature: 26,344,937,472 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Czech version:

1080P / 23.976 fps Blu-ray

Feature: 20,055,042,048 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.20:1 Original Aspect Ratio / Czech version - 1.33:1
Average Bitrate: 5.1 / 7.78
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.20:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.18
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.20:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.90 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.20:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.89
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Bitrate: Movietone

Blu-ray

Bitrate: Czech

Blu-ray

AudioDolby TrueHD Audio English 314 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 314 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 601 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 601 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Original Movietone score (mono) and alternate Timothy Brock score (stereo)Original Movietone score (mono) and alternate Olympic Chamber Orchestra score (stereo)Original Hugo Riesenfeld composed movietone score (in mono) and a alternate Carl Davis Olympic Chamber Orchestra score

Original Hugo Riesenfeld composed movietone score (in mono) and a alternate Carl Davis Olympic Chamber Orchestra score

SubtitlesEnglish, and noneEnglish, and noneSpanish, French and noneSpanish, French and noneEnglish, Spanish, French and none
FeaturesRelease Information:
Studio: Eureka Video

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,923,389,773 bytes

Feature: 26,344,937,472 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Czech version:

1080P / 23.976 fps Blu-ray

Feature: 20,055,042,048 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Aspect Ratio:
1.20:1 Czech version 1.33

Edition Details:
• Restored high-definition transfers of two different versions: the American Movietone version, and the silent Czech version.
• Original English intertitles on the Movietone version, and optional English subtitles on the silent Czech version.
• Original Movietone score (mono) and alternate Olympic Chamber Orchestra score (stereo)
• Full-length audio commentary by ASC cinematographer John Bailey on the Movietone version
• Outtakes with either John Bailey commentary or intertitles
• Murnau’s 4 Devils: Traces of a Lost Film — Janet Bergstrom’s updated 40-minute documentary about the lost Murnau film
• Original theatrical trailer
• Original ‘photoplay’ script by Carl Mayer with Murnau’s handwritten annotations (150 pages in pdf format)
• 20-page illustrated booklet with film restoration and DVD/Blu-ray transfer information, along with a comparison between the two versions.


Blu-ray Release Date: September 21st, 2009
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
1.20:1 Czech version 1.33

Edition Details:
• Restored high-definition transfers of two different versions: the American Movietone version, and the silent Czech version.
• Original English intertitles on the Movietone version, and optional English subtitles on the silent Czech version.
• Original Movietone score (mono) and alternate Olympic Chamber Orchestra score (stereo)
• Full-length audio commentary by ASC cinematographer John Bailey on the Movietone version
• Outtakes with either John Bailey commentary or intertitles
• Murnau’s 4 Devils: Traces of a Lost Film — Janet Bergstrom’s updated 40-minute documentary about the lost Murnau film
• Original theatrical trailer
• Original ‘photoplay’ script by Carl Mayer with Murnau’s handwritten annotations (150 pages in pdf format)
• 20-page illustrated booklet with film restoration and DVD/Blu-ray transfer information, along with a comparison between the two versions.


DVD Release Date:
September 21st, 2009
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 24

 

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
1.20:1

Edition Details:
 Full-length audio commentary by ASC cinematographer John Bailey
 Outtakes with either John Bailey commentary or intertitles
 Murnau's 4 Devils: Traces of a Lost Film — Janet Bergstrom's 40-minute documentary about the lost film Murnau made for Fox after Sunrise.
 Original theatrical trailer
 Original 'photoplay' script by Carl Mayer with Murnau's handwritten annotations (150 pages in pdf format)
 40-page illustrated booklet with essays by Robin Wood, Lotte H. Eisner, R. Dixon Smith, Lucy Fischer and David Pierce.



DVD Release Date:
October 24th, 2005
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 24

 

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
1.20:1

Edition Details:
 
Audio commentary by ASC Cinematographer John Bailey

10 minutes of outtakes with commentary
by John Bailey

Original scenerio by Carl Mayer with annotations by Murnau is presented as a series of still images

 Murnau's 4 Devils: Traces of a Lost Film — Janet Bergstrom's 40-minute documentary about the lost film

Stills gallery ( 4 photos )

Theatrical trailer (1:47)

 

DVD9


DVD Release Date: February 27th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 24

 

* Initially Sunrise was available only as a free promotional item from 20th Century Fox. It could be obtained by providing proofs of purchase with receipts (and $2.50 shipping) for three titles in the Fox Studio Classics series. Some of these titles are the special editions of All About Eve, Gentleman's Agreement, How Green Was My Valley,  The Day the Earth Stood Still, Song of Bernadette, The Ox-Bow Incident, etc.. There will be 14 released altogether. The offer is technically open only to U.S. and Canada residents but expired January 31, 2004. It can now be purchased in a 4 pack - Studio Classics - Best Picture Collection (Sunrise / How Green Was My Valley / Gentleman's Agreement / All About Eve) HERE

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka Video

Aspect Ratio:
1.20:1

Edition Details:
 
Audio commentary by ASC Cinematographer John Bailey

 ADDITION: Documentary by film historian R. Dixon Smith

10 minutes of outtakes with commentary
by John Bailey

 Murnau's 4 Devils: Traces of a Lost Film — Janet Bergstrom's 40-minute documentary about the lost film

Original scenerio by Carl Mayer with annotations by Murnau is presented as a series of still images

Stills gallery ( 4 photos )

Theatrical trailer (1:44) 

• 2 disc set

 

2 X DVD5

DVD Release Date: January 26th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 13

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: MoC Blu-ray - September 09: We don't have much more to add to the below comments and the newly posted 1080 screen captures. The Blu-ray package is dual-layered with both version on the one disc - both transferred in 1080P. Extras are duplicated from the previously reviewed DVD.  What is most remarkable is the density and range of the Czech print - it has moments of incredible clarity in hi-def.

The Blu-ray is easily the most important 1080 releases of the year. It gives a new, and astounding, spin to your viewing of this time honored classic. It is region FREE and has our highest recommendation.

***

ADDITION: (Eureka -2-disc -Master of Cinema # 1) - September - 2009 :  Firstly - we will, of course, be adding the, much anticipated, Blu-ray to this comparison as soon as we are in possession.

NOTE: We are going to refer to this 2009 Masters of Cinema disc as the '2-disc edition' although we are very aware that the original Eureka edition from 2004 was 2-disc (2 single-layered discs actually) in the PAL format. This new MoC package has 2 dual-layered - region free discs in the NTSC standard.

The screener arrived from Masters of Cinema and I immediately put it in my player. Then my jaw dropped. Wow. It is significantly cleaner and brighter. This was obvious immediately upon seeing the first few minutes. The older transfers were very dark often removing detail from the backgrounds. This problem has been resolved with this restoration. Plenty of speckles and scratches have been removed and the image is remarkably cleaner. This bodes very well for the upcoming Blu-ray. This 2-disc package easily contains the best looking DVD presentation of Sunrise (and the cheapest!) but we will reserve further comments on the visuals aspects of the restoration until we have seen, and added, the Blu-ray to this comparison. 

The shorter 1.33;1 Czech version on disc two has many instances where it too looks brighter and improved beyond the other transfers but it has other, less notable damage and dirt marks. Although the scenes are almost identical it has completely different shots - as if it was taken from an alternate 'take'. Because of this I couldn't match the captures exactly, for the recently found Czech version.

The package as a whole is fabulous. There was a high-definition restoration and here we get SD transfers of two different versions: the American Movietone version at 1:34:26, and the silent Czech version at 1:19:03. We get the original English intertitles on the Movietone version, and optional English subtitles on the silent Czech version. For audio we have the wonderful original Movietone score (in mono) and alternate Timothy Brock score (in 2.0 channel stereo). The Brock score sounds less like a silent imitation but produces a very nice aura to the visuals. I don't recommend it ahead of the original but it is very much worth listening to as an 'alternate'. For supplement we get the same thorough, full-length audio commentary by ASC cinematographer John Bailey on the Movietone version and some outtakes with a choice of John Bailey comments or intertitles. Murnau’s 4 Devils: Traces of a Lost Film — Janet Bergstrom’s updated 40-minute documentary about the lost Murnau film is also included on the first disc as is the original theatrical trailer. The original ‘photoplay’ script by Carl Mayer with Murnau’s handwritten annotations is accessible as a PDF file on the disc and we have a 20-page illustrated booklet with film restoration and DVD/Blu-ray transfer information, along with a comparison between the two versions.

Often considered one of the great achievements in motion pictures - it's so beneficial to actually see so many more details in the frame. The increased brightness has not disturbed the integrity of the grain which is still very visible.  For me - it was close to an entire new viewing. Really - we are talking an obvious candidate for DVD of the Year and please stay tuned for the forthcoming Blu-ray coverage soon...  

***

 

 

ADDITION: (Eureka (Master of Cinema # 1) - September - 2005:

There are some significant differences between the new (2005) and old Eureka discs. The old set was spread, needlessly over two DVD5s. The new edition is filled (7.43 Gig) on one DVD9. The old image had some digital manipulation (contrast boosting), and, most importantly, was an interlaced transfer where the new edition is progressive. The old set had a video documentary by R. Dixon Smith that seems to work much better as a written essay (this has been removed from the new edition, but the essay is present in the new booklet). The booklet is quite substantial and their largest to date at 40- pages (it includes a new Robin Wood piece as well as much more). And to be picky, the old edition had some very slow, laborious menus (and a very annoying croaking frog sound). The new menus are completely redesigned and very quick and responsive.

NOTE:
There is a tiny Easter Egg of Murnau in his coffin hidden away in the menus on the new edition.

Versus Region 1: The promotion for the free issue of this release is over and it appears as though it can only be bought in 4-pack - Studio Classics - Best Picture Collection (Sunrise / How Green Was My Valley / Gentleman's Agreement / All About Eve) - HERE. Looking extremely closely the Fox appears to have some brightening, and possibly why it looks cleaner and the Fox extras are very good, although the MoC release has the best supplements by a notch with the liner notes.

*****

I understand through Nick Wrigley of Masters of Cinema that Eureka obtained a PAL master direct from Fox for this release. I think the differences are negligible, but with a film of this importance and poor condition, every bit matters. The Region 1 is slightly sharper. The Eureka has some contrast boosting, but the print looks cleaner. The Region 1 Fox shows some excellent film grain. The Eureka has all the extras that the Fox has (John Bailey commentary etc) but ADDS a documentary by film historian R. Dixon Smith. Note should be made of Eureka's fabulous looking animated CGI menus - they look great (but are extremely slow!) The Eureka is a 2 DVD5 (single layer) disc set to the Fox's single Dual layered DVD (DVD9)                                     

- Gary W. Tooze

CORRECTION From Hunter Hale ( with thanks )

One note of error that everyone seems to make is giving credit to Carl Davis for the score on the DVD. Carl Davis, under Kevin Brownlow's PhotoPlay banner, did conduct a wonderful reconstructed scoring of the original Hugo Riesenfeld music -- but this is NOT included on the Fox DVD. The original score included was written by Timothy Brock and is, as stated, played by Olympic Chamber Orchestra. This score first appeared on the Fox Laser Disc release of this title. John Bailey, in his commentary, refers to the alternate music track as being by David Newman. Newman did write an original score for SUNRISE which was presented for the opening night screening at the United States Film Festival (now known as the Sundance Film Festival) in January of 1989. Newman, later, conducted his score for several live presentations around the country. No recording has been made of the Newman score as far as I am aware (wish it been, as I would love to hear it again!).

 

The Hugo Riesenfeld score on the DVD sounds better than it ever has. The score has been cleaned up (all the noise and hiss removed) and is the best it has ever sounded. It is heard in this form on the DVD for the first time. The score is amazing -- it works perfectly for the film.

 


DVD Menus - Masters of Cinema 2-disc

 

 

DVD Menus - Masters of Cinema 2-disc (disc 2)

 

 

Eureka (Master of Cinema #1 ) - Region 2 - NTSC

 



(
20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Eureka - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)


 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

Screen Captures

1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

3) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1 ) - Region 2 - NTSC FIFTH

6) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - SIXTH

7) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

3) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1 ) - Region 2 - NTSC FIFTH

6) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - SIXTH

7) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM


1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

3) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1 ) - Region 2 - NTSC FIFTH

6) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - SIXTH

7) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM


1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

3) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1 ) - Region 2 - NTSC FIFTH

6) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - SIXTH

7) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM


1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

3) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1 ) - Region 2 - NTSC FIFTH

6) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - SIXTH

7) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM


1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

3) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1 ) - Region 2 - NTSC FIFTH

6) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - SIXTH

7) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM


1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray SECOND

3) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) Czech Version - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) (Eureka (Master of Cinema #1 ) - Region 2 - NTSC FIFTH

6) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - SIXTH

7) Eureka - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

More Caps from the 1st disc Movietone version of the Masters of Cinema 2-disc version

 

1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

1) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) 2-disc edition - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Eureka (Master of Cinema #1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


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DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

DistributionEureka (Masters of Cinema # 1 )
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Eureka 2-disc DVD (Masters of Cinema # 1 )
Region 0 -
NTSC
Eureka (Masters of Cinema # 1 )
Region 2 -
NTSC

20th Century Fox

Region 1  - NTSC

Eureka
Region 0 - PAL



 

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Gary Tooze