100 BEST SILENT FILMS OF THE PRE-DIALOGUE ERA

by dalecrusso | created - 12 Dec 2011 | updated - 12 Dec 2011 | Public

The best films of the so called silent era 1930 and before. one glaring omission here is Modern Times,which i consider a muted sound film.

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1. Sunrise (1927)

Passed | 94 min | Drama, Romance

A sophisticated urban woman seduces a farmer in the hopes that he will murder his neglected wife and join her in the city, but he soon finds himself rekindling his romance with the latter when she discovers their scheme.

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

Votes: 49,891 | Gross: $0.54M

this is a film everyone should see.One of the most beautiful and tender films.

2. The General (1926)

Passed | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

After being rejected by the Confederate military, not realizing it was due to his crucial civilian role, an engineer must single-handedly recapture his beloved locomotive after it is seized by Union spies and return it through enemy lines.

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

Votes: 87,650 | Gross: $1.03M

3. 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: 168,160 | Gross: $1.24M

4. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Passed | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley, Maurice Schutz

Votes: 52,006 | Gross: $0.02M

5. 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: 177,537 | Gross: $0.02M

6. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History, Thriller

97 Metascore

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: 56,014 | Gross: $0.05M

7. The Wind (1928)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

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: 6,482

8. Intolerance (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: 15,080 | Gross: $2.18M

9. The Gold Rush (1925)

Passed | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A prospector goes to the Klondike during the 1890s gold rush in hopes of making his fortune, and is smitten with a girl he sees in a dance hall.

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

Votes: 107,347 | Gross: $5.45M

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: 93,290

11. Pandora's Box (1929)

Not Rated | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer, Carl Goetz

Votes: 10,462 | Gross: $0.01M

12. 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: 9,641 | Gross: $0.16M

13. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

TV-PG | 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: 24,009 | Gross: $10.00M

14. 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: 8,179

15. 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: 7,532 | Gross: $12.45M

16. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

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

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

Votes: 61,116

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: 46,656 | Gross: $0.98M

18. The Last Laugh (1924)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

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

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

Votes: 13,566 | Gross: $0.09M

19. 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: 10,050

20. Napoleon (1927)

330 min | Biography, Drama, History

A film about the French general's youth and early military career.

Director: Abel Gance | Stars: Albert Dieudonné, Vladimir Roudenko, Edmond Van Daële, Alexandre Koubitzky

Votes: 7,615

21. 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: 6,612 | Gross: $11.00M

22. Flesh and the Devil (1926)

Passed | 112 min | Drama

Childhood friends are torn apart when one of them marries the woman the other fiercely loves.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: John Gilbert, Greta Garbo, Lars Hanson, Barbara Kent

Votes: 4,217 | Gross: $1.61M

23. 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: 14,790

24. 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: 17,864 | Gross: $3.75M

25. 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: 19,857 | Gross: $1.36M

26. 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: 5,374 | Gross: $4.50M

27. 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: 5,997 | Gross: $4.36M

28. The Unknown (1927)

Unrated | 63 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

A criminal on the run hides in a circus and seeks to possess the daughter of the ringmaster at any cost.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford, Nick De Ruiz

Votes: 7,844 | Gross: $0.41M

29. 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, Alice Nevalinga, Cunayou, Allegoo

Votes: 11,697

30. 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: 9,648 | Gross: $1.48M

31. Häxan (1922)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary, Fantasy, History

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

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

Votes: 13,646

32. 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: 121,247 | Gross: $5.45M

33. Wings (1927)

PG-13 | 144 min | Drama, Romance, War

Two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast | Stars: Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Richard Arlen, Jobyna Ralston

Votes: 12,385 | Gross: $6.59M

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

Passed | 133 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

In 15th-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: 5,280 | Gross: $2.22M

35. Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

Not Rated | 70 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

The effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father's crew.

Directors: Charles Reisner, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Tom McGuire, Ernest Torrence, Tom Lewis

Votes: 14,148

36. The Mark of Zorro (1920)

Passed | 79 min | Adventure, Romance, Western

A seemingly idiotic fop is really the courageous vigilante Zorro, who seeks to protect the oppressed.

Director: Fred Niblo | Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Marguerite De La Motte, Robert McKim, Noah Beery

Votes: 2,436

37. 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: 8,092

38. The Man Who Laughs (1928)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

When a proud noble refuses to kiss the hand of the despotic King James in 1690, he is cruelly executed and his son surgically disfigured.

Director: Paul Leni | Stars: Mary Philbin, Conrad Veidt, Julius Molnar, Olga Baclanova

Votes: 6,600

39. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

Passed | 150 min | Drama, Romance, War

An extended family split up in France and Germany find themselves on opposing sides of the battlefield during World War I.

Director: Rex Ingram | Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Pomeroy Cannon, Josef Swickard

Votes: 3,293 | Gross: $9.20M

40. He Who Gets Slapped (1924)

95 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

A bitter clown endeavors to rescue the young woman he loves from the lecherous count who once betrayed him.

Director: Victor Sjöström | Stars: Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, Ruth King

Votes: 3,649 | Gross: $0.19M

41. Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Fantasy, Horror

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present 16 minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel, Pancho Cossío

Votes: 48,426

42. 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: 10,902 | Gross: $1.17M

43. 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: 32,549

44. 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: 4,380

45. 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: 3,753

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

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery