The urban-rural divide comes to heart

The first feature in 2024 for the Northwest Montana History Museum’s Movie Night at the Museum is the 1927 silent romantic drama Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. The film screens 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23.  The movie marked the American film debut of German director F.W. Murnau and stars George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, and Margaret Livingston.  

Livingston plays a city woman vacationing in the country who meets and falls in love with a farmer (O’Brien). Torn between his love for his wife (Gaynor) and his new love who wants him to sell his farm and move with her to the city, O’Brien finds himself agreeing  to kill his wife so they can be together. But, as in life, all does not go according to plan in this story of love, loss, and redemption.    

Murnau was the first director to use the new Fox Movietone sound-on film system, making this one of the first feature films with a synchronized musical score and sound effects soundtrack.

At the first Academy Awards in 1929, the film won an Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Picture while Gaynor received Best Actress in a Leading Role. Critics have called Sunrise the greatest film of the silent era.  

Doors open 6:50 p.m. Admission and popcorn are free, but donations are gladly accepted to defray costs. Soda pop, water, beer, and wine are available for purchase. Seating is provided, but viewers can bring their own cushions or seating if they like.

The Northwest Montana History Museum brings the past alive through exhibits, artifacts, educational programs, and events. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 124 Second Ave. E., Kalispell. Call 406-756-8381.