USA | 1930 | 88 min | PG
A Chicago waitress falls in love with a Minnesota farmer, and decides to face a life in the country.
The son of a wheat farmer, Lem (Charles Farrell) travels to Chicago to sell the season’s crop. As wheat prices plummet he quickly sells off his family’s assets for far below what his stern father had instructed him. Enchanted by the bright lights of the big city, he falls for and marries hardboiled diner waitress Kate (Mary Duncan), whose disillusionment with the city’s workaday disappointments fuels her pastoral fantasy of life on a farm. After bringing Kate back to his family, resentment, rejection and the threat of sexual violence looms as Lem’s father (David Torrence)—pegging Kate as a big city harlot—attempts to force her out.
Unlike the stylized sets of Sunrise, Murnau instills City Girl with bucolic realism, capturing Oregon’s stunning landscape with cinematographer Ernest Palmer’s signature gleam. – ALICIA FLETCHER
Director: F.W. Murnau
Cast: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, David Torrence
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Presentation format: 35mm courtesy Fox Library Service
Live accompaniment by Marilyn Lerner
Sponsored by Hollywood Suite. Produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.
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