Greatest Silent Cinema

by IMAlec | created - 28 Feb 2018 | updated - 08 Apr 2018 | Public
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1. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

98 Metascore

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 153,829 | Gross: $1.24M

2. The General (1926)

Passed | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender, Jim Farley

Votes: 77,278 | Gross: $1.03M

3. Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Not Rated | 68 min | Documentary, Music

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov | Star: Mikhail Kaufman

Votes: 21,330

4. City Lights (1931)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

99 Metascore

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers

Votes: 159,536 | Gross: $0.02M

5. Modern Times (1936)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

96 Metascore

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford

Votes: 207,292 | Gross: $0.16M

6. Sunrise (1927)

Passed | 94 min | Drama, Romance

An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston, Bodil Rosing

Votes: 45,529 | Gross: $0.54M

7. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 54,544

8. The Kid (1921)

Passed | 68 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Carl Miller

Votes: 106,655 | Gross: $5.45M

9. Vampyr (1932)

Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

A drifter obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel, Sybille Schmitz

Votes: 14,927

10. Nosferatu (1922)

Not Rated | 94 min | Fantasy, Horror

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 85,475

11. The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Not Rated | 107 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

On New Year's Eve, the driver of a ghostly carriage forces a drunken man to reflect on his selfish, wasted life.

Director: Victor Sjöström | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg, Astrid Holm

Votes: 9,820

12. The Gold Rush (1925)

Passed | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman

Votes: 95,538 | Gross: $5.45M

13. Safety Last! (1923)

Not Rated | 74 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller

A boy leaves his small country town and heads to the big city to get a job. As soon as he makes it big his sweetheart will join him and marry him. His enthusiasm to get ahead leads to some interesting adventures.

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor | Stars: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Bill Strother, Noah Young

Votes: 17,457 | Gross: $0.62M

14. The Last Laugh (1924)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller, Emilie Kurz

Votes: 11,866 | Gross: $0.09M

15. The Cameraman (1928)

Not Rated | 76 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Hopelessly in love with a woman working at MGM Studios, a clumsy man attempts to become a motion picture cameraman to be close to the object of his desire.

Directors: Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin, Sidney Bracey

Votes: 9,754

16. Häxan (1922)

Not Rated | 91 min | Fantasy, History, Horror

Fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern Europe.

Director: Benjamin Christensen | Stars: Benjamin Christensen, Elisabeth Christensen, Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan

Votes: 11,496

17. Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Passed | 45 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.

Director: Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton, Erwin Connelly

Votes: 38,287 | Gross: $0.98M

18. Greed (1924)

Not Rated | 140 min | Drama, Thriller, Western

The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.

Director: Erich von Stroheim | Stars: Gibson Gowland, Zasu Pitts, Jean Hersholt, Dale Fuller

Votes: 8,723 | Gross: $0.16M

19. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History, Thriller

In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barskiy, Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov

Votes: 51,067 | Gross: $0.05M

20. The Navigator (1924)

Unrated | 59 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

Two spoiled rich people find themselves trapped on an empty passenger ship.

Directors: Donald Crisp, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Frederick Vroom, Clarence Burton

Votes: 8,713 | Gross: $1.48M

21. Faust (1926)

Not Rated | 107 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn, Frida Richard

Votes: 13,391

22. The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)

Not Rated | 68 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A landlady suspects her new lodger is the madman killing women in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: June Tripp, Ivor Novello, Marie Ault, Arthur Chesney

Votes: 9,773

23. The Last Command (1928)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, History, Romance

A former Imperial Russian general and cousin of the Czar ends up in Hollywood as an extra in a movie directed by a former revolutionary.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent, William Powell, Jack Raymond

Votes: 3,207

24. Diary of a Lost Girl (1929)

Not Rated | 79 min | Drama

After falling pregnant to a pharmacist and refusing to marry, a young woman is thrown from her home and sent to a strict girls' reform school.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Louise Brooks, Josef Rovenský, Fritz Rasp, André Roanne

Votes: 3,924

25. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Not Rated | 155 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

A recalcitrant thief vies with a duplicitous Mongol ruler for the hand of a beautiful princess.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Julanne Johnston, Snitz Edwards, Charles Belcher

Votes: 5,357 | Gross: $4.36M

26. The Docks of New York (1928)

Not Rated | 76 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova, Clyde Cook

Votes: 3,771

27. The Wind (1928)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Romance, Western

A frail young woman from the east moves in with her cousin in the west, where she causes tension within the family and is slowly driven mad.

Director: Victor Sjöström | Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love, Dorothy Cumming

Votes: 5,818

28. The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated | 151 min | Drama, Romance, War

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors: King Vidor, George W. Hill | Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, Claire McDowell

Votes: 5,997 | Gross: $11.00M

29. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Passed | 93 min | Horror

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Directors: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle, Edward Sedgwick | Stars: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe

Votes: 16,019 | Gross: $3.75M

30. Storm Over Asia (1928)

74 min | Drama, War

After a run-in with the law, a Mongolian man becomes a fugitive and joins the Russian Civil War.

Director: Vsevolod Pudovkin | Stars: I. Inkizhinov, I. Dedintsev, Valéry Inkijinoff, Aleksandr Chistyakov

Votes: 1,735

31. Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Paul Richter, Margarete Schön, Theodor Loos, Gertrud Arnold

Votes: 4,996

32. Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge (1924)

Not Rated | 129 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

After Siegfried's dead, Kriemhild marries Etzel, the King of the Huns. She gives birth to a child, and invites her brothers for a party. She tries to persuade Etzel and the other Huns, that... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Margarete Schön, Gertrud Arnold, Theodor Loos, Hans Carl Mueller

Votes: 3,791

33. The Crowd (1928)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Romance

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach, Estelle Clark

Votes: 7,193

34. Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922)

Not Rated | 242 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker, Alfred Abel

Votes: 7,118

35. Spies (1928)

Not Rated | 90 min | Romance, Thriller

The mastermind behind a ubiquitous spy operation learns of a dangerous romance between a Russian lady in his employ and a dashing agent from the government's secret service.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Gerda Maurus, Willy Fritsch, Lien Deyers

Votes: 2,996

36. The Circus (1928)

Passed | 72 min | Comedy, Romance

90 Metascore

The Tramp finds work and the girl of his dreams at a circus.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Al Ernest Garcia, Harry Crocker

Votes: 24,881

37. Underworld (1927)

Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Arthur Rosson | Stars: George Bancroft, Clive Brook, Evelyn Brent, Fred Kohler

Votes: 2,471 | Gross: $1.64M

38. The Artist (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

89 Metascore

An egomaniacal film star develops a relationship with a young dancer against the backdrop of Hollywood's silent era.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius | Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell

Votes: 225,233 | Gross: $44.67M

39. Our Hospitality (1923)

Passed | 65 min | Comedy, Romance, Thriller

A man returns to his Appalachian homestead. On the trip, he falls for a young woman. The only problem is her family has vowed to kill every member of his family.

Directors: John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton, Joe Roberts

Votes: 9,734

40. Seven Chances (1925)

Passed | 56 min | Comedy, Romance

A man learns he will inherit a fortune if he marries by 7 p.m. that same day.

Director: Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Ruth Dwyer, T. Roy Barnes, Snitz Edwards

Votes: 8,764 | Gross: $0.21M

41. Sadie Thompson (1928)

Unrated | 97 min | Drama

A prostitute seeking a fresh start becomes the obsession of a religious extremist.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Blanche Friderici, Charles Lane, Florence Midgley

Votes: 2,466 | Gross: $1.00M

42. Broken Blossoms (1919)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp, Arthur Howard

Votes: 9,118

43. Way Down East (1920)

Passed | 145 min | Drama, Romance

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau, Lowell Sherman

Votes: 4,870 | Gross: $4.50M

44. Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)

Passed | 197 min | Drama, History

99 Metascore

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Mae Marsh, F.A. Turner

Votes: 13,637 | Gross: $2.18M

45. Cabiria (1914)

Not Rated | 148 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Cabiria is a Roman child when her home is destroyed by a volcano. Sold in Carthage to be sacrificed in a temple, is saved by Fulvio, a Roman spy. But danger lurks, and hatred between Rome and Carthage can only lead to war.

Director: Giovanni Pastrone | Stars: Italia Almirante-Manzini, Lidia Quaranta, Bartolomeo Pagano, Carolina Catena

Votes: 3,016

46. Orphans of the Storm (1921)

Not Rated | 150 min | Drama, History, Romance