June 15, 2017
City Girl (1930)
Adobe Chapel, 3963 Conde Street in Old Town San Diego
Our second Murnau film tells the story of a farmer's son, Lem Tustine (Charles Farrell), who comes to the big city where he meets and falls in love with Kate, a city-wise waitress in a lunch counter restaurant (Mary Duncan). When he brings her home to meet his parents, his dominating and emasculating father (David Torrence) predicts disaster for the relationship because he believes Kate to be a gold digger. This fear sabotages the marriage, and conflicts build and boil over until the rest of the crop is threatened by a hailstorm.
"City Girl stands as silent cinema at its best—and, for that reason, must be seen. All aspects of the making of this film fit neatly and tightly together like a well-woven tapestry. F.W. Murnau's direction is outstanding. The story, adapted from the play "The Mud Turtle" by Elliott Lester, is compelling and engrossing. The acting is emotional and effective, and the cinematography is breathtaking —lighting and shade used to the utmost effectiveness, stunning visuals of the countryside, and excellent depiction of bustling city life with low camera angles and tracking shots. In the farm scenes, there's a certain somberness in the Tustine home at night as it is lit only by kerosene lamp…and Murnau uses this to advantage…Certainly the cinematography and direction in this film exemplify the pinnacle of silent cinema."—Silents Are Golden.
"Two young, attractive people from different worlds meet, face adversity and survive it, thanks to the power of love. City Girl sounds like a romance. Yet it's not romantic at all, because these lovers are not equals. Kate is strong, smart, driven; her dreaminess weakens her, but she tempers it with cold assessment. She makes use of her beauty, but is not satisfied to rely on it. She works hard. Lem? He's just dumb and pretty."—Silent Volume.
When Thursday, June 15
Time 7:30pm · 90 minutes
Seating is limited; advance ticket purchase is suggested
PURCHASE ADVANCE TICKETS
Call (619) 297-7511
In Person Whaley House Museum Shop
2476 San Diego Avenue in historic Old Town San Diego
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