Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
German director Murnau (Nosferatu) came to Hollywood to make this brilliant fable about a man and wife struggling through a very dark moment in the marriage. A seductress uses this moment of weakness in the couple's marriage to try to convince the husband to murder his wife, sell his farm, and run away with her. As we watch the man become a monster, we are also shown lighter, even comic, moments of the marriage as the movie builds towards its suspenseful conclusion.
This tightly-written movie is full of innovative film techniques, from clever use of models to elaborate tracking shots, fascinating set and camera angles, and other delights. It represents the peak of silent film-making before the "dark ages" of the 1930s forced cinema to take two steps back to accommodate sound stages and production.