The Best Silent Films You Need to Watch

Some of the best films ever made were shot during the silent era (1895 to 1936) when the synchronized recorded sound was not yet available. Here are some of the best you need to see.

The General (1926)
The story of the film was inspired by the novel The Great Locomotive Chase by William Pittenger set during the Civil War. Johnnie Gray visits Annabelle Lee, whom he loves as much as he adores his locomotive.

Metropolis (1927)
Considered the first full-length science fiction movie, Metropolis is set in a dystopian city and tells the story of the rich Freder and the poor Maria.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
The hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses the somnambulist Cesare to carry out his evil plans. The film is renowned for its use of the Expressionist theme and stunning visuals.

City Lights (1931)
The movie stars Charlie Chaplin as Tramp, who fell in love with a blind Flower Girl. The girl, however, has mistaken him for a wealthy man.

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922)
This film was inspired by the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker and used German Expressionism in its visuals. Thomas Hutter visits Transylvania to meet his new client, Count Orlok. The strange host repelled Hutter and he even suspected the Count of being the rumored Nosferatu.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
This is an adaptation of “The Excusrion to Tilsit” by Herman Sudermann and features the Woman from the City who seduces the Man away from his wife and his child.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Several adaptations have been made about the life of Joan of Arc, but this movie is a must-see because it was based on her record of the trial.

Intolerance (1916)
Considered one of the first art films, Intolerance tells 4 different stories that are separated by hundreds of years. The three-and-a-half-hour film was considered an epic story that covers Christ’s life to the fall of the Babylonian Empire.

Battleship Potemkin (1925)
This Soviet film re-enacts the events of the mutiny of the crew of Potemkin, a Russian battleship in 1905. It is divided into 5 acts for a total of 75 minutes.

Sherlock Jr. (1924)
A movie theater janitor and a local sheik are both in love with the same woman. They both try win her affection by buying her gifts even if they are broke.

Broken Blossoms (1919)
Lucy Borrows has always suffered abuse from her father Battling Burrows. She meets Cheng Huan, who was disillusioned by the city, and the two fall in love.

A Trip to the Moon (1902)
This French silent film was inspired by several stories about journeys to the moon. It features a bunch of astronomers who were imprisoned in the Moon after they encountered the Selenites.

The Last Laugh (1924)
An old hotel doorman was demoted to a washroom attendant because of his age. The doorman took pride in his previous job, so he tried to hide his demotion from his family and friends.

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