best film: Sunrise is a giant masterpiece and amongst the greatest films of all-time. It’s Murnau’s best and the best silent film. It’s a director’s medium so Murnau’s triumph is greater than Gaynor’s but the film isn’t nearly as great without her work and that face of innocence and purity.
best performance: Sunrise even though her work with Borzage is spectacular and she’s nominated for A Star is Born in 1937 (though that version is not as good as Cukor’s 1954 version in which Judy Garland surpasses Gaynor).
stylistic innovations/traits: Gaynor’s face in the boat in Sunrise is one of cinema’s great moments and indelible images. The Murnau masterpiece is a towering achievement but Borzage would really direct dramas and they help keep Gaynor from being a one-hit wonder if you will.
directors worked with: Borzage (2) and then Sunrise with Murnau
Top 5 Performances:
- 7th Heaven
- Street Angel
- A Star is Born
|1927- 7th Heaven|
|1928- Street Angel|
|1937- A Star is Born|