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(Review originally written at 19 September 2007)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Many know F.W. Murnau perhaps only just as an early pioneer in horror movies but perhaps even better are his drama movies. It's always something powerful and real- and emotional feeling. You can always truly sense the character's emotions.

It's such an incredible sweet love-story! The way the two lovers behave is very authentic and feels warm and sweet. They are a great couple who truly deeply love each other. This is really one of the sweetest and most warm movies you'll ever see! Also in this particular case I didn't mind that the movie had an happy ending. It of course also all works out thanks to the main actors of the movie; George O'Brien and Janet Gaynor. They are great and worked well together. There was some real electricity.

F.W. Murnau really knew how to construct and build up a good sequence, with a good fast pace and also in this case with the help of some real fine cinematography. The cinematography in F.W. Murnau movies is always something special and innovative!

Most dramatic sequences in the movie get stretched out for too long, especially in the middle of the movie, but it's needed for the story and of course also needed because this is a silent movie, that needs to tell its story purely with its images, instead of dialog.

Perhaps the more dark and sinister aspect of the movie remain too underdeveloped, which in my opinion is a sort of a missed opportunity. It could had provided the movie with some more and interesting layers but perhaps it would had also made the movie over-complicated, with too many different plot-lines and characters.

The sets are all grand and fantastic looking, though also fake, which for some reason only enhances the movie and its atmosphere. This also was the case with Murnau's previous movie "Faust". It's more artistic then just plain fake looking. The overall movie is put very artistically together, with a couple of great- and imaginative sequences in it.

A definite must-see in my opinion!

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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