Before Oscar (1902-1926)

by Professor Barbenfouillis | created - 15 Oct 2011 | updated - 30 Jan 2017 | Public

First classics...

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1. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 35,337

2. Dante's Inferno (1911)

68 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

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.

Directors: Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan, Giuseppe de Liguoro | Stars: Salvatore Papa, Arturo Pirovano, Giuseppe de Liguoro, Pier Delle Vigne

Votes: 1,594

3. Richard III (1912)

55 min | Drama

Richard of Gloucester uses manipulation and murder to gain the English throne.

Directors: André Calmettes, James Keane | Stars: Robert Gemp, Frederick Warde, Albert Gardner, James Keane

Votes: 192

4. Fantômas: In the Shadow of the Guillotine (1913)

Not Rated | 54 min | Crime, Drama

Inspector Juve is tasked to investigate and capture an infamous criminal Fantomas.

Director: Louis Feuillade | Stars: René Navarre, Edmund Breon, Georges Melchior, Renée Carl

Votes: 1,709

5. The Student of Prague (1913)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Balduin, a student of Prague, leaves his roystering companions in the beer garden, when he finds he has reached the end of his resources. He is scarcely seated in a quiet corner when a ... See full summary »

Directors: Paul Wegener, Stellan Rye | Stars: Paul Wegener, Grete Berger, Lyda Salmonova, John Gottowt

Votes: 1,418

6. Judith of Bethulia (1914)

61 min | Drama

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.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Blanche Sweet, Henry B. Walthall, Mae Marsh, Robert Harron

Votes: 1,076

7. Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914)

Not Rated | 82 min | Comedy

A con man from the city dupes a wealthy country girl into marriage.

Directors: Mack Sennett, Charles Bennett | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain

Votes: 2,947

8. Cabiria (1914)

Not Rated | 148 min | Adventure, Drama, History

Three centuries before Christus. Young Cabiria is kidnapped by some pirates during one eruption of the Etna. She is sold as a slave in Carthage, and as she is just going to be sacrificed to... See full summary »

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

Votes: 2,558

9. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Not Rated | 195 min | Drama, History, War

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.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper

Votes: 19,138 | Gross: $10.00M

10. Les vampires (1915)

Not Rated | 421 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

An intrepid reporter and his loyal friend battle a bizarre secret society of criminals known as The Vampires.

Director: Louis Feuillade | Stars: Musidora, Édouard Mathé, Marcel Lévesque, Jean Aymé

Votes: 3,573

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

Not Rated | 197 min | Drama, History

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: 11,995 | Gross: $2.18M

12. The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917)

Not Rated | 65 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

The wealthy but selfish parents of a lonely young girl begin to rethink what is important to them after a servant's irresponsibility results in a crisis.

Director: Maurice Tourneur | Stars: Mary Pickford, Madlaine Traverse, Charles Wellesley, Gladys Fairbanks

Votes: 1,126

13. Shoulder Arms (1918)

Not Rated | 45 min | Comedy, War

Charlie is a boot camp private who has a dream of being a hero who goes on a daring mission behind enemy lines.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Edna Purviance, Charles Chaplin, Syd Chaplin, Loyal Underwood

Votes: 4,730

14. Stella Maris (1918)

Unrated | 84 min | Drama

Two young women - a paraplegic girl sheltered by her wealthy guardians and a more experienced orphan - fall in love with a man separated from his violent wife.

Director: Marshall Neilan | Stars: Mary Pickford, Ida Waterman, Herbert Standing, Conway Tearle

Votes: 1,229

15. Die Austernprinzessin (1919)

Not Rated | 58 min | Comedy

An American heiress seeks the hand of an impoverished German prince.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Victor Janson, Ossi Oswalda, Harry Liedtke, Julius Falkenstein

Votes: 1,330

16. Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (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: 7,994

17. Male and Female (1919)

Not Rated | 116 min | Adventure, Drama

Lady Mary Lasenby is a spoiled maiden who always gets her way until shipwrecked with her butler, then learns which qualities are really admirable in a person.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Thomas Meighan, Theodore Roberts, Raymond Hatton, Robert Cain

Votes: 1,538

18. Way Down East (1920)

Not Rated | 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: 4,280 | Gross: $4.50M

19. 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: 46,022

20. The Golem (1920)

Unrated | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror

In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem - a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.

Directors: Carl Boese, Paul Wegener | Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch, Lyda Salmonova

Votes: 5,349

21. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (I) (1920)

Unrated | 49 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.

Director: John S. Robertson | Stars: John Barrymore, Martha Mansfield, Brandon Hurst, Charles Lane

Votes: 4,016

22. The Kid (1921)

Not Rated | 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: 86,913 | Gross: $5.45M

23. Orphans of the Storm (1921)

Not Rated | 150 min | Drama, History, Romance

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut, Frank Losee

Votes: 4,152 | Gross: $0.79M

24. The Boat (1921)

23 min | Short, Comedy, Family

Buster and his family go on a voyage on his homemade boat that proves to be one disaster after another.

Directors: Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline, Sybil Seely

Votes: 2,428

25. Der müde Tod (1921)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

When a woman's fiancé disappears, Death gives her three chances to save him from his fate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Bernhard Goetzke, Hans Sternberg

Votes: 4,090 | Gross: $0.01M

26. The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Not Rated | 100 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: 7,950

27. Tol'able David (1921)

99 min | Drama

When three thuggish men are responsible for the death of his father and the crippling of his brother, young David must choose between supporting his family or risking his life and exacting vengeance.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Gladys Hulette, Walter P. Lewis, Ernest Torrence

Votes: 1,600

28. Nosferatu (1922)

Not Rated | 81 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: 76,118

29. Häxan (1922)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary, Fantasy, 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: 9,244

30. Nanook of the North (1922)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary

In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty | Stars: Allakariallak, Nyla, Cunayou, Allegoo

Votes: 8,956

31. 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: 6,061

32. Safety Last! (1923)

Not Rated | 70 min | Comedy, Thriller

When a store clerk organizes a publicity stunt, in which a friend climbs the outside of a tall building, circumstances force him to make the perilous climb himself.

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

Votes: 14,970 | Gross: $0.62M

33. Our Hospitality (1923)

Not Rated | 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: 8,397

34. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (I) (1923)

Unrated | 133 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

In fifteenth century Paris, the brother of the archdeacon plots with the gypsy king to foment a peasant revolt. Meanwhile, a freakish hunchback falls in love with the gypsy queen.

Director: Wallace Worsley | Stars: Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Norman Kerry, Kate Lester

Votes: 3,991 | Gross: $1.02M

35. 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: 7,475 | Gross: $0.30M

36. 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: 7,859 | Gross: $0.16M

37. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Approved | 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: 4,646 | Gross: $1.59M

38. Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Not Rated | 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: 26,739

39. 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: 4,312

40. 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: 3,258

41. The Gold Rush (1925)

Not Rated | 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: 82,599 | Gross: $5.45M

42. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History

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: 45,372 | Gross: $0.05M

43. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Not Rated | 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: 13,923 | Gross: $0.72M

44. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)

Not Rated | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.

Directors: Fred Niblo, Charles Brabin, Christy Cabanne, J.J. Cohn, Rex Ingram | Stars: Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman, May McAvoy, Betty Bronson

Votes: 6,561 | Gross: $12.45M

45. Stachka (1925)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama

A group of oppressed factory workers go on strike in pre-revolutionary Russia.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Maksim Shtraukh, Mikhail Gomorov, I. Ivanov

Votes: 5,766

46. 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: 5,407 | Gross: $11.00M

47. The General (1926)

Not Rated | 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: 65,915

48. Faust (1926)

Not Rated | 85 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: 11,834

49. Mother (1926)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

The Film Version Of Gorki's Great Story Of The 1905 Revolution

Director: Vsevolod Pudovkin | Stars: Vera Baranovskaya, Nikolay Batalov, Aleksandr Chistyakov, Anna Zemtsova

Votes: 2,036