Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Director F.W. Murnau began City Girl as a silent film, hoping to match the artistic triumph of his earlier Sunrise. Murnau was frustrated by two elements: Fox's decision to hastily convert the film into a talkie, and his inability to secure the services of Sunrise star Janet Gaynor. The director was forced by the studio to substitute the pretty but untalented Mary Duncan, reportedly because she was the girlfriend of one of the Fox executives. The resulting film is a plodding drama about farmer's son Charles Farrell coming to the Big City, where he falls in love with Duncan, bringing her home to meet the folks. Farrell's dad David Torrence predicts that Duncan will be unfaithful, a prophecy which apparently comes true on a dark and stormy night. Based on Elliot Lester's play The Mud Turtle, City Girl has a fascinating image or two to its credit, but the film is a distressingly ordinary effort for the otherwise imaginative F.W. Murnau. The 1938 20th Century-Fox film City Girl is not a remake.
betrayal, farmer's-son, farmhand, big-city, wheat