F W Murnau walked out before filming was completed on his final Hollywood project, citing studio interference and artistic differences. Whilst movies like Nosferatu and Sunshine have been hailed as Murnau’s great masterpieces City Girl has been largely ignored, yet the movie contains some of his most intimate work.
The depiction of the romance between a waitress and a farmer against the backdrop of the great depression is anything but typical Hollywood. Both the girl and the farmer are in love with an dream which doesn’t really exist, and the cold reality of a couple unprepared for married life and its demands hits them hard.
The movie was never released in Europe, which makes it a rarity in European theaters even now. Like all of Murnau’s films, it’s the brilliantly drawn psychology of the characters that draws you in. Not a moment is wasted in the movie, which is filled with Murnau’s typical obsession to smal details. It’s a movie that can be watched time and time again, Indeed, Terence Malick was so impressed with City Girl that it became the inspiration for his film ‘Days of Heaven.’