100 Great Movies (1878-1930)

by framptonhollis | created - 11 Jan 2016 | updated - 22 Sep 2017 | Public
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1. Sallie Gardner at a Gallop (1878)

1 min | Documentary, Short

The clip shows a jockey, Domm, riding a horse, Sally Gardner. The clip is not filmed but instead consists of 24 individual photographs shot in rapid succession, making a moving picture when using a zoopraxiscope.

Director: Eadweard Muybridge | Stars: Gilbert Domm, Sallie Gardner

Votes: 1,847

8/10 Sure, there isn't much to it, but this could be the first of all films!

2. Roundhay Garden Scene (1888)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

In the garden, a man asks his friends to do something silly for him to record on film.

Director: Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince | Stars: Annie Hartley, Adolphe Le Prince, Joseph Whitley, Sarah Whitley

Votes: 4,910

8/10 This is another a film without much to it, but it is very important to the history of film and filmmaking.

3. Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894)

1 min | Documentary, Short

A man (Thomas Edison's assistant) takes a pinch of snuff and sneezes. This is one of the earliest Thomas Edison films and was the first motion picture to be copyrighted in the United States.

Director: William K.L. Dickson | Star: Fred Ott

Votes: 1,627

8/10 An early, amusing record of a sneeze.

4. Exiting the Factory (1895)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

A man opens the big gates to the Lumière factory. Through the gateway and a smaller doorway beside it, workers are streaming out, turning either left or right. Most of them are women in ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière

Votes: 5,415

8/10 Funny, interesting, important, and historical.

5. The Arrival of a Train (1896)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short, Action

A train arrives at La Ciotat station.

Directors: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière | Stars: Madeleine Koehler, Marcel Koehler, Mrs. Auguste Lumiere, Jeanne-Joséphine Lumière

Votes: 9,171

8/10 AGAIN, a film without much substance, but it is a truly important work of art.

6. The Kiss (1900)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short, Romance

Nothing new, but an old thing done over again and done well. Some one has attempted to describe a kiss as "something made of nothing," but this is not one of that kind, but one of those old... See full summary »

Director: Edwin S. Porter | Star: Fred Ott

Votes: 343

8/10 The first truly romantic and controversial film.

7. Gulliver's Travels (1902)

Not Rated | 4 min | Short, Fantasy

Gulliver washes ashore on Lilliput, the inhabitants of which are no more than six inches tall. He later travels to Brobdingnag, a country populated by giants.

Director: Georges Méliès | Star: Georges Méliès

Votes: 669

8/10 While Melies' film "A Trip to the Moon", this early Jonathan Swift adaptation shouldn't be ignored. It's truly a special effects triumph!

8. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

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

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

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

Votes: 39,017

10/10 The earliest science fiction classic includes marvelous visual effects, a simple, but fun and intriguing, story and some subtle, but smart, satire.

9. The Great Train Robbery (I) (1903)

TV-G | 11 min | Short, Action, Crime

A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.

Director: Edwin S. Porter | Stars: Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, A.C. Abadie, George Barnes, Justus D. Barnes

Votes: 15,269

9/10 One of the earliest westerns, and possibly the MOST influential western.

10. The Birth, the Life and the Death of Christ (1906)

Not Rated | 33 min | Short, Biography, Drama

The life of Jesus Christ in 25 scenes.

Director: Alice Guy

Votes: 279

9/10 An amazing, experimental, and early film portrayal of Jesus Christ.

11. 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: 20,532 | Gross: $10.00M

10/10 An influential (yet horribly racist) classic. Griffith is one of the most important directors of all time, pioneering techniques such as use of the dramatic close up and tracking shot.

12. 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: 50,120

8/10 While a little slow, "Caligari" may be the most important of all horror films. Using beautiful set design, brilliant storytelling techniques, and a classic concept.

13. 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: 98,821 | Gross: $5.45M

10/10 A truly brilliant film, and one of Chaplin's best. It is both hilarious and emotional.

14. 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: 9,738

10/10 Maybe the most influential and important documentary film of all time.

15. 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: 81,157

10/10 If "Caligari" manages to be the most important silent horror film, "Nosferatu" is certainly the creepiest out of all of them. Max Schreck's legendary performance is one for the ages, and F.W. Murnau's film making is nightmarish.

16. 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: 33,547 | Gross: $0.98M

10/10 My favorite Buster Keaton film is really creative, action-packed, and hilarious, and it's only about 40 minutes!

17. The Eagle (1925)

Unrated | 73 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

A wanted Russian lieutenant becomes a masked vigilante seeking vengeance upon the man who stole his family's land, only to fall for his charming daughter.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, Louise Dresser, Albert Conti

Votes: 1,557 | Gross: $0.32M

10/10 Full of romance, action, drama, comedy, and thrills!

18. 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: 11,735


19. 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: 19,925


20. Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Fantasy, Horror

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present 17 minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí

Votes: 42,231

10/10 *Tied with "L'age d'Or"*

21. L'Age d'Or (1930)

Not Rated | 63 min | Comedy, Drama

A surrealist tale of a man and a woman who are passionately in love with each other, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Gaston Modot, Lya Lys, Caridad de Laberdesque, Max Ernst

Votes: 11,549 | Gross: $0.03M

10/10 *Tied with "Un Chien Andalou"*

22. À Propos de Nice (1930)

Not Rated | 25 min | Documentary, Short, Comedy

What starts off as a conventional travelogue turns into a satirical portrait of the town of Nice on the French Cote d'Azur, especially its wealthy inhabitants.

Directors: Boris Kaufman, Jean Vigo

Votes: 3,417

9/10 A creative and well-made avant garde satire.

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

Passed | 197 min | Drama, History

92 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: 12,889 | Gross: $2.18M

24. Thomas Pynchon: A Journey Into the Mind of P. (2002)

96 min | Documentary

This documentary tries to unravel the various mysteries around the identity, life and work of the reclusive author.

Directors: Donatello Dubini, Fosco Dubini | Stars: James Bone, Irwin Corey, Richard Lane, George Plimpton

Votes: 95

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