Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Andrea Eckert
Plot: A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.
The idea for the movie came from a night Richard Linklater spent walking around Philadelphia with Amy, a woman he met. Contrary to the movie, they stayed in touch for a while, until contact was lost. Linklater never heard from her again, not even when he became a director and Before Sunrise (1995) was released. It was not for many years later that he found out that Amy had died in a traffic accident a few years after they had met.
Most of the script was re-written by Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. Delpy later expressed frustration that they were uncredited for their work.
Numerous references to James Joyce's novel "Ulysses" can be found in "Before Sunrise." Both take place on June 16th, running into the early hours of June 17th. Both involve a journey around a single city (Dublin/Vienna) and include a visit to a graveyard. Jesse's real name is James (Joyce's first name) and, like Joyce, he spent a long time wandering around the cities of Europe instead of going home.
Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpy are the only actors in the film whose characters are given names.
Richard Linklater spent nine months casting the film because he saw so many people but had trouble finding the right actors for the roles of Jesse and CÚline.
[Linklater when asked about improvisation in Before Sunrise (1995)]: "It's a compliment when people think it's [the Sunrise trilogy] improvised, but I don't think anyone could ever understand how much work it is for them [Delpy and Hawke]." Delpy also explained the lack of improvisation. "The truth of these movies is, they are tediously rehearsed, every detail planned, every overlapping line scripted," she told the Chicago Tribune in 2013. "It's so precise that it's almost a joke when people think we are acting off the cuff."
The Ferris wheel Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy ride in Vienna is the same one used in The Third Man (1949) and The Living Daylights (1987).
Director Richard Linklater has a cameo in the film. He is seen playing "fussball" in the club scene.