The Best Movies From 1900-1919

Here they are. The movies I consider to be the absolute best motion pictures from 1900-1919.

One little thing on a personal note: I do not think that most of the movies I put on this list are, what you would generally call, "enjoyable". Those are silent films we are talking about here, after all, and sadly, as I have found out for myself, it takes some considerable amount of patience to truly watch them. If you however take the time to "sit through" them, you might be in for some surprises. Not only did the film makers create images which stood the test of time surprisingly well - especially considering how much time has passed since their creation; but which also make you wonder how they were created in the first place, taking into account the limited techniques film crews had to utilize at the beginning of cinematography.

So in a way this is my most frustrating list of films, since there are definately rewards to be gained by watching these entries - but, nevertheless, it can be tedious at times as well.

Feel free to comment on my choice of movies.

PS: The movies are sorted by year and not necessarily by my preference. This list is by no means complete as I will add new worthwhile films as I stumble across them.
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1.
A Trip to the Moon (1902 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon. (13 mins.)
 
2.
Gulliver's Travels (1902 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Of all the beautiful stories ever told none are more interesting than Gulliver's Travels. How Gulliver... (4 mins.)
 
3.
The Great Train Robbery (1903 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels. (11 mins.)
 
4.
Robinson Crusoe (1903 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
Robinson Crusoe and Friday fight with hostile natives, and eventually retire to their jungle cottage to relax. (1 mins.)
“ Rating and inclusion on this list is based on the nearly complete 12 and half minutes hand-tinted Version which was only discovered in 2012. ” - Akira_Chimera
 
5.
Fairyland: A Kingdom of Fairies (1903 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
At the royal court, a prince is presenting the princess whom he is pledged to marry, when a witch suddenly appears... (16 mins.)
 
6.
An Impossible Voyage (1904 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Using every known means of transportation, several savants from the Geographic Society undertake a journey... (24 mins.)
 
7.
The Palace of Arabian Knights (1905 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A poor but honest young man wins the hand of a beautiful Princess after facing a series of exciting adventures involving apparitions, cartwheeling skeletons, a dragon, and plump dancing girls from the Folies Bergere. (19 mins.)
 
8.
The Legend of Rip Van Winkle (1905 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Pioneer filmmaker Georges Melies tells his version of the famous Washington Irving story of a man who takes a nap and wakes up 20 years later. (10 mins.)
 
9.
The 400 Tricks of the Devil (1906 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two travelers are tormented by Satan from inn to inn and eventually experience a buggy ride through... (17 mins.)
 
10.
The Witch (1906 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A penniless troubador consults the Fairy Carabosse about his future, but offends her by paying with a bag of sand. He evades the Fairy's revenge, and saves the beautiful princess. (12 mins.)
 
11.
Frankenstein (1910 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Frankenstein, a young medical student, trying to create the perfect human being, instead creates a misshapen monster... (16 mins.)
 
12.
Dante's Inferno (1911)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Loosely adapted from Dante's Divine Comedy and inspired by the illustrations of Gustav Doré the original silent film has been restored and has a new score by Tangerine Dream. (68 mins.)
 
13.
The Conquest of the Pole (1912 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Scientists from all over the world are meeting to discuss the best way to reach the North Pole. Professor... (33 mins.)
 
14.
The Student of Prague (1913)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A poor student rescues a beautiful countess and soon becomes obsessed with her. A sorcerer makes a deal... (85 mins.)
 
15.
Judith of Bethulia (1914)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A religious woman seeks to save her people from destruction by seducing and murdering the enemy leader, but her plans get complicated once she falls for him. (61 mins.)
Director: D.W. Griffith
 
16.
Cabiria (1914)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Three centuries before Christus. Young Cabiria is kidnapped by some pirates during one eruption of the Etna... (148 mins.)
 
17.
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. (195 mins.)
Director: D.W. Griffith
 
18.
A Night Out (1915 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
After a visit to a pub, Charlie and Ben cause a ruckus at a posh restaurant. Charlie later finds himself in a compromising position at a hotel with the head waiter's wife. (34 mins.)
 
19.
The Champion (1915 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Walking along with his bulldog, Charlie finds a "good luck" horseshoe just as he passes a training camp... (31 mins.)
 
20.
The Bank (1915 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Charlie does everything but an efficient job as janitor. Edna buys her fiance, the cashier, a birthday present... (25 mins.)
 
21.
The Tramp (1915 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The Little Fellow finds the girl of his dreams and work on a family farm. (26 mins.)
 
22.
Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history. (163 mins.)
Director: D.W. Griffith
 
23.
The Vagabond (1916 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After passing the hat and taking the donations intended for German street musicians Charlie heads for the country... (34 mins.)
Director: Charles Chaplin
 
24.
One A.M. (1916 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A drunken homeowner has a difficult time getting about in his home after arriving home late at night. (24 mins.)
Director: Charles Chaplin
 
25.
Behind the Screen (1916 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Charlie is an overworked labourer at a film studio who helps a young woman find work even while his coworkers strike against his tyrannical boss. (30 mins.)
 
26.
The Rink (1916 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
After causing restaurant chaos at work, a bumbling waiter tears up the local roller rink with his skating. (30 mins.)
 
27.
The Count (1916 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Charlie burns a count's trousers while ironing them and is fired. The tailor finds an invitation to... (24 mins.)
 
28.
The Floorwalker (1916 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The Tramp is tricked into impersonating an embezzling floorwalker in a department store. (29 mins.)
Director: Charles Chaplin
 
29.
Easy Street (1917 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A reformed tramp becomes a police constable who must fight a huge thug who dominates an inner city street. (24 mins.)
 
30.
The Cure (1917 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An alcoholic checks into a health spa and his antics promptly throw the establishment into chaos. (24 mins.)
 
31.
The Immigrant (1917 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Charlie is an immigrant who endures a challenging voyage and gets into trouble as soon as he arrives in America. (30 mins.)
Director: Charles Chaplin
 
32.
The Adventurer (1917 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The Little Tramp escapes from prison; saves a girl and her mother from drowning; and creates havoc at a swank party. (24 mins.)
 
33.
Hearts of the World (1918)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Young lovers in a French village are torn apart with the coming of the Great War. (117 mins.)
Director: D.W. Griffith
 
34.
Tarzan of the Apes (1918)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
The plot follows the novel more closely than does any other Tarzan movie. John and Alice Clayton take ship for Africa... (73 mins.)
Director: Scott Sidney
 
35.
A Dog's Life (1918 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The Little Tramp and his dog companion struggle to survive in the inner city. (33 mins.)
 
36.
Shoulder Arms (1918)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Charlie is a boot camp private who has a dream of being a hero who goes on a daring mission behind enemy lines. (45 mins.)
Director: Charles Chaplin
 
37.
A Trip to Mars (1918)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A group of the researchers from the Earth in a spaceship traveling to Mars, where, to big surprise, finds a peaceful vegetarian and pacifist civilization. (97 mins.)
Director: Holger-Madsen
 
38.
Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
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. (90 mins.)
Director: D.W. Griffith
 
39.
Sunnyside (1919 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Charlie works on a farm from 4am to late at night. He gets his food on the run (milking a cow into his coffee... (41 mins.)
Director: Charlie Chaplin
 
40.
Different from the Others (1919)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two male musicians fall in love, but blackmail and scandal makes the affair take a tragic turn. (50 mins.)
Director: Richard Oswald