Horror Movies of the 1920s

by kings_of_metal | created - 26 Aug 2012 | updated - 26 Aug 2012 | Public
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1. 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: 45,955

2. 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: 4,012

3. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (II) (1920)

40 min | Short, Drama, Horror

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

Director: J. Charles Haydon | Stars: Sheldon Lewis, Alex Shannon, Dora Mills Adams, Gladys Field

Votes: 94

4. Genuine (1920)

88 min | Horror

Extremely rare work of Robert Wiene. From the director and year of excellent "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" this work was eventually overshadowed by the success of Caligari. It has a dreamy atmosphere, like another world or something.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Fern Andra, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Ernst Gronau, Harald Paulsen

Votes: 703

5. 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: 5,347

6. Der Januskopf (1920)

107 min | Horror

See everything in the book "Conrad Veidt on Screen" by John T. Soister (McFarland 2002), pages 109-113.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Conrad Veidt, Magnus Stifter, Margarete Schlegel, Willy Kaiser-Heyl

Votes: 72

7. The Penalty (1920)

Passed | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A deformed criminal mastermind plans to loot the city of San Francisco as well as revenge himself on the doctor who mistakenly amputated his legs.

Director: Wallace Worsley | Stars: Charles Clary, Doris Pawn, Jim Mason, Lon Chaney

Votes: 1,647

8. 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: 4,081 | Gross: $0.01M

9. 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: 7,945

10. The Haunted Castle (1921)

Not Rated | 69 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

In the castle Vogeloed, a few aristocrats are awaiting baroness Safferstätt. But first count Oetsch invites himself.. Everyone thinks he murdered his brother, baroness Safferstat's first ... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Arnold Korff, Lulu Kyser-Korff, Lothar Mehnert, Paul Hartmann

Votes: 1,079

12. A Blind Bargain (1922)

57 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

Lon Chaney performs two roles: Doctor Lamb, a mad surgeon who's doing experiments on human bodies, and his crippled and apish assistant, the result of his first experiment.

Director: Wallace Worsley | Stars: Lon Chaney, Raymond McKee, Virginia True Boardman, Fontaine La Rue

Votes: 21

13. The Ghost Breaker (1922)

57 min | Comedy, Horror

A young man and his manservant, escaping from a backwoods family feud, are persuaded by a beautiful young heiress to help her rid her newly-gained Spanish castle of ghosts. The ghostly ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Wallace Reid, Lila Lee, Walter Hiers, Arthur Edmund Carewe

Votes: 7

14. 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: 9,234

15. The Headless Horseman (1922)

Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

The village of Sleepy Hollow is getting ready to greet the new schoolteacher, Ichabod Crane, who is coming from New York. Crane has already heard of the village's legendary ghost, a ... See full summary »

Director: Edward D. Venturini | Stars: Will Rogers, Lois Meredith, Ben Hendricks Jr., Charles E. Graham

Votes: 176

16. 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: 76,044

17. 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: 6,049

18. One Exciting Night (1922)

Not Rated | 128 min | Horror, Mystery

A young orphan girl, courted by an unpleasant older wealthy man who has a hold over her adoptive mother, falls in love with a young stranger at a party. Odd noises begin to be heard as a ... See full summary »

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Carol Dempster, Henry Hull, Porter Strong, Morgan Wallace

Votes: 50 | Gross: $0.41M

20. The Hands of Orlac (1924)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

A world-famous pianist loses both hands in an accident. When new hands are grafted on, he doesn't know they once belonged to a murderer.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Conrad Veidt, Alexandra Sorina, Fritz Strassny, Paul Askonas

Votes: 1,658

21. Waxworks (1924)

Not Rated | 65 min | Fantasy, Horror

A wax museum hires a writer to give the sculptures stories. The writer imagines himself and the museum owner's daughter in the stories.

Directors: Leo Birinsky, Paul Leni | Stars: Emil Jannings, Conrad Veidt, Werner Krauss, William Dieterle

Votes: 1,346

22. Maciste in Hell (1925)

95 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

The devil takes Maciste down to hell in an attempt to corrupt and ruin his morality.

Director: Guido Brignone | Stars: Bartolomeo Pagano, Umberto Guarracino, Mario Saio, Franz Sala

Votes: 344

23. The Monster (1925)

Unrated | 86 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

A meek clerk who doubles as an amateur detective investigates some very strange goings-on at a remote mental sanitarium.

Director: Roland West | Stars: Lon Chaney, Gertrude Olmstead, Hallam Cooley, Johnny Arthur

Votes: 767

24. 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: 13,907 | Gross: $0.72M

25. Wolfblood (1925)

68 min | Drama

After wolf blood transfusion, man thinks he's becoming a wolf.

Directors: George Chesebro, Bruce Mitchell | Stars: George Chesebro, Roy Watson, Milburn Morante, Frank Clark

Votes: 202

26. The Bat (1926)

86 min | Mystery, Thriller

A masked criminal who dresses like a giant bat terrorizes the guests at an old house rented by a mystery writer.

Director: Roland West | Stars: George Beranger, Charles Herzinger, Emily Fitzroy, Louise Fazenda

Votes: 608

27. 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: 11,823

28. The Magician (I) (1926)

Passed | 83 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A magician/alchemist, seeking to create life, finds that he needs the "blood of a virgin" to continue his experiments. He sends out his dwarf assistant to pick out the right girl.

Director: Rex Ingram | Stars: Alice Terry, Paul Wegener, Firmin Gémier, Iván Petrovich

Votes: 411

29. The Man Who Cheated Life (1926)

110 min | Drama, Horror

For Balduin, going out to beer parties with his fellow students and fighting out disputes at the tip of the sword have lost their charms. He wants to find love; but how would he, a ... See full summary »

Director: Henrik Galeen | Stars: Conrad Veidt, Elizza La Porta, Fritz Alberti, Ágnes Eszterházy

Votes: 475

30. The Cat and the Canary (1927)

Unrated | 108 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

Relatives of an eccentric millionaire gather in his spooky mansion on the 20th anniversary of his death for the reading of his will.

Director: Paul Leni | Stars: Laura La Plante, Creighton Hale, Forrest Stanley, Tully Marshall

Votes: 2,265

31. The Gorilla (1927)

80 min | Horror, Thriller

An ape is suspected of committing a series of murders.

Director: Alfred Santell | Stars: Charles Murray, Fred Kelsey, Walter Pidgeon, Brooks Benedict

Votes: 13

32. London After Midnight (1927)

Passed | 69 min | Horror

The abandoned home of a wealthy man who supposedly committed suicide five years earlier is taken over by ghoulish figures - could they be vampires?

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall, Percy Williams

Votes: 1,045

33. 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: 132,625 | Gross: $0.03M

34. 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: 5,982

36. A Daughter of Destiny (1928)

108 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

A scientist interested in the laws of heredity, impregnates a prostitute in a laboratory with the semen of a hanged murderer. The prostitute conceives a female child who has no concept of love, whom the professor adopts.

Director: Henrik Galeen | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Paul Wegener, Iván Petrovich, Wolfgang Zilzer

Votes: 237

37. The Ape (1928)

Horror, Mystery

A supposedly tame ape suddenly goes on a rampage in a small town. Based on a true story.

Director: Beverly C. Rule | Stars: Gladys Walton, Ruth Stonehouse, Basil Wilson, Bradley Barker

38. La chute de la maison Usher (1928)

Not Rated | 63 min | Horror

Allan visits the sinister Usher family mansion, where his friend Roderick is painting a portrait of his sickly wife Madeline. The portrait seems to be draining the life out of Madeline, slowly leading to her death.

Director: Jean Epstein | Stars: Jean Debucourt, Marguerite Gance, Charles Lamy, Fournez-Goffard

Votes: 2,785

39. The Fall of the House of Usher (1928)

Unrated | 13 min | Short, Horror

A traveller arrives at the Usher mansion to find that the sibling inhabitants, Roderick and Madeline Usher, are living under a mysterious family curse: Roderick's senses have become ... See full summary »

Directors: James Sibley Watson, Melville Webber | Stars: Herbert Stern, Hildegarde Watson, Melville Webber, Friedrich Haak

Votes: 1,022