F.W. Murnau dies in a road accident in Santa Barbara, California, 1931. The director of Nosferatu (1922) and The Last Laugh (1924) got his start in 1919 and made what many film scholars consider his finest film—Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)—shortly after he left Germany in 1926. The silent movie won the first, and only, Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Picture, sort of an ancillary Best Picture prize; Wings (1927) received that year's Oscar for Outstanding Picture, the Academy’s top trophy. Though Sunrise impressed the critics, The Jazz Singer’s release a month before the release of Murnau’s film helped create an appetite for talkies, and audiences largely stayed away.