35 Oldest Popular Films

by BonaFideBOSS | created - 30 May 2020 | updated - 05 Oct 2020 | Public

Which of these oldest feature films with at least 25000 votes on IMDb is your favorite?

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1. 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: 61,580

2. 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: 122,543 | Gross: $5.45M

3. 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: 93,852

4. 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: 47,294 | Gross: $0.98M

5. 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: 108,145 | Gross: $5.45M

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: 56,356 | Gross: $0.05M

7. 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: 88,383 | Gross: $1.03M

8. 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: 169,390 | Gross: $1.24M

9. 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: 50,126 | Gross: $0.54M

10. The Circus (1928)

Passed | 72 min | Comedy, Family, 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: 32,825

11. 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: 52,523 | Gross: $0.02M

12. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Passed | 152 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

A German youth eagerly enters World War I, but his enthusiasm wanes as he gets a firsthand view of the horror.

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy

Votes: 60,134 | Gross: $3.27M

13. 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: 179,025 | Gross: $0.02M

14. Dracula (1931)

Passed | 75 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

71 Metascore

Transylvanian vampire Count Dracula bends a naive real estate agent to his will, then takes up residence at a London estate where he sleeps in his coffin by day and searches for potential victims by night.

Directors: Tod Browning, Karl Freund | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Dwight Frye

Votes: 50,706

15. M (1931)

Passed | 99 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke

Votes: 153,131 | Gross: $0.03M

16. Frankenstein (1931)

Passed | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

Dr. Frankenstein dares to tamper with life and death by creating a human monster out of lifeless body parts.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 70,140

17. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror

80 Metascore

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 45,016

18. King Kong (1933)

Passed | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

King Kong survived and was happy with his new found friend plot twist

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack | Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher

Votes: 83,554 | Gross: $10.00M

19. The Invisible Man (1933)

TV-PG | 71 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart, William Harrigan, Henry Travers

Votes: 33,823

20. Duck Soup (1933)

Not Rated | 69 min | Comedy, Musical

93 Metascore

Rufus T. Firefly is named the dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of his wealthy backer Mrs. Teasdale, contending with two inept spies who can't seem to keep straight which side they're on.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Zeppo Marx

Votes: 59,262

21. It Happened One Night (1934)

Passed | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

87 Metascore

A renegade reporter trailing a young runaway heiress for a big story joins her on a bus heading from Florida to New York, and they end up stuck with each other when the bus leaves them behind at one of the stops.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 100,581 | Gross: $4.36M

22. The Thin Man (1934)

TV-PG | 91 min | Comedy, Mystery

86 Metascore

Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke | Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton

Votes: 28,763

23. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

95 Metascore

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson

Votes: 46,897 | Gross: $4.36M

24. The 39 Steps (1935)

Approved | 86 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

93 Metascore

A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle

Votes: 55,461

25. A Night at the Opera (1935)

Passed | 96 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

A sly business manager and the wacky friends of two opera singers in Italy help them achieve success in America while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

Directors: Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding | Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle

Votes: 32,260 | Gross: $2.54M

26. Modern Times (1936)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

96 Metascore

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford

Votes: 233,189 | Gross: $0.16M

27. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War

During WWI, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are eventually sent to a seemingly inescapable fortress.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

Votes: 35,797 | Gross: $0.17M

28. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Approved | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

95 Metascore

Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell

Votes: 192,628 | Gross: $184.93M

29. Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Passed | 102 min | Comedy

91 Metascore

While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Walter Catlett

Votes: 59,949

30. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

PG | 102 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

97 Metascore

When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence in 1190s England, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a resistance movement.

Directors: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley | Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains

Votes: 49,995 | Gross: $3.98M

31. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Not Rated | 96 min | Mystery, Thriller

98 Metascore

While travelling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, May Whitty

Votes: 51,033

32. Stagecoach (1939)

Passed | 96 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

93 Metascore

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine

Votes: 47,291

33. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 28,336

34. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

92 Metascore

Young Dorothy Gale and her dog are swept away by a tornado from their Kansas farm to the magical Land of Oz, and embark on a quest with three new friends to see the Wizard, who can return her to her home and fulfill the others' wishes.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 384,465 | Gross: $2.08M

35. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Passed | 129 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

A naive youth leader is appointed to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate. His idealistic plans promptly collide with corruption at home and subterfuge from his hero in Washington, but he tries to forge ahead despite attacks on his character.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold

Votes: 113,035 | Gross: $9.60M



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