F.W. Murnau’s 1930 film City Girl was the third of just four that the German cinematic pioneer made in Hollywood. With 1928’s 4 Devils among the thousands of lost films from the period, we only have three left from the Director who in his home land made such iconic movies as Nosferatu and The Last Laugh. City Girl shares many themes with his masterpiece Sunrise in that it is about love and the struggle between rural life and urbanisation.
Lem Tustine (Charles Farrell) is sent from his Minnesota farm to Chicago by his overbearing father to sell their wheat crop. While in the big city, the country boy meets and falls in love with a city waitress called Kate (Mary Duncan). Lem sells the family crop, but for a lower price than his father desired and brings his new bride back to the farm to meet his parents. Kate soon discovers that life in the country isn’t all she expected it to be and with leering men much the same as in the city and a father-in-law who distrusts her, she begins to think she’s made a huge mistake.