Movies => Good Movies => Topic started by: RCMerchant on September 01, 2007, 03:32:06 PM

Title: Silent Films
Post by: RCMerchant on September 01, 2007, 03:32:06 PM
 I've seen my fair share of silent movies.  I know a lot of folks avoid them as too old fashioned,but some of the cinematography is beautiful,a story using images...the most pure form of cinema.  (Boy, that sounds real pompous!  :lookingup: )Most in the fantasy /horror /sci-fi school or comedys. Here are some favorites...

  .Eisenstein's BATTLESHIP POTEMKIM (1925)- Just such an epic,powerful movie. Needs no dialouge. It never gets old for me.
  .DR. MABUSE: the GAMBLER and KING of CRIME (1922) Fritz Langs excellent 2 part film about the sinester Doctor and his mad quest for power! MOO hahaha!

.NOSFERATU (1922) Most of you have all seen this,I presume. A classic!

.I love all of Harold Llyod's old comedys !!! 

.WITCHCRAFT THROUGH THE AGES  (1922) !922 seems to be a good year for movies! This one is also known as HAXAN,and the version I like is narreted by William S. Burroughs.
. I enjoy all of Lon Chaney's films...a favorite - I can't choose! He was amazing! I've seen the PHANTOM of the OPERA,the HUNCHBACK of NOTRE DAME, HE WHO GETS SLAPPED, the MONSTER, the UNHOLY 3, but would love to see the UNKNOWN!

 Chaney was remarkable...!


  Anybody else enjoy silent films?

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: dean on September 01, 2007, 09:18:51 PM

I quite enjoy alot of silent films, especially classics like Nosferatu and Fritz Lang's work like Metropolis.

Never really got 100% into silent comedies, but I do have some at home.

Interestingly enough the silent film is not dead.

The new release just last week [or so] of a Rolf de Heer movie called Dr. Plonk is testament to that. (

Visit here for the trailer: (

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: Scott on September 01, 2007, 09:54:06 PM
NOSFERATU (1922) - This is truly a great film of it's era. Amazing images. 

BATTLESHIP POTEMKIM (1925) - Is good and has the famous baby carriage scene on the steps of Odessa. 

There's a film I want to see called FAUST (1926) that looks awesome.


One film that I like is THE GOLEM (1920). Resembles Frankenstein.


This is not a silent film, but often is shot and feels like a silent film. It's called VAMPYR (1932) and you can watch this whole 73 minute film below. Another very good film. You'll like this one some of the scenes are very good.


Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: CheezeFlixz on September 01, 2007, 11:23:07 PM
Love silent films, I watch Silent Sunday on TCM, oddly enough on Sunday nights. There are a lot of good ones I've seen, but I rarely remember the titles. However, the ones named thus far are all excellent of the ones I've seen. 

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: RCMerchant on September 02, 2007, 07:32:25 AM
 Scott- I have seen VAMPYRE and agree...t's a fantastic peice of work. Maybe as close to the filming of a nightmare as has been done! I think  David Lynch may have been influinced by this film.
 Cheezy- I like to catch Silent Sunday too when I can stay awake that late!

Found this clip on you tube...from 1985....



Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: The Burgomaster on September 02, 2007, 08:53:04 AM
I have watched several silent films over the past year or so.  Some of Mill Creek's 50 movie packs contain silent films.  Here are the ones on the Mill Creek DVDs I have watched so far:

* Several Buster Keaton shorts
* Several Stan Laurel shorts

I've seen NOSFERATU several times and I watched BIRTH OF A NATION in a film class.  I enjoy watching these movies from time-to-time.  Even if the movies themselves aren't great, I still enjoy watching them for historical reasons.  For stuff like the Buster Keaton and Stan Laurel shorts, I think it's interesting to see the clothing, cars, furniture, etc., from around 1920.  For stuff like THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, I enjoy looking at the sets, costumes, and make-up and comparing them to what we see in modern films.

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: JaseSF on September 02, 2007, 10:54:46 AM
What I love above the silent films are their visual style. They had to tell their story largely through visuals so normally a lot of effort within to expressing the story on those terms. Many of the classic Expressionist horror films feel dreamlike, surreal, oftentimes like a dream turning into a nightmare that one almost feels drawn into...almost like stepping into another reality.

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: Allhallowsday on September 02, 2007, 02:08:52 PM
Lots of great films mentioned, particularly those Lon Chaney Sr. horror films; thank goodness for TCM showing them!  I just watched BUSTER KEATON's THE GENERAL (1927) which was on TCM this week... one of the best films ever made, with amazing shots and stunts (all done by Keaton) still funny after 80 years, and though it's got a few dated and obvious gags, it never ceases to amaze me how fresh some of Keaton's humor is.  I also like CHARLIE CHAPLIN, but mostly the later films, though I think THE GOLD RUSH (1925) is wonderful and the late silent film CITY LIGHTS (1931) is one of my favorites (another that I'd rank as one of the best films yet.)  Also watched D.W. Griffith's BROKEN BLOSSOMS (1919) which after nearly 90 years, is not only engrossing, but still disturbing...

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: KYGOTC on September 02, 2007, 07:28:21 PM
I tried watching the silent movie, "Doctor Jekyl, Mister Hyde" and it bored the hell out off me.

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: wtffilm on September 03, 2007, 01:57:44 AM
I have to recommend Abel Gance's 1927 epic NAPOLEON - possibly the greatest silent film ever made.  The conclusion was played through three seperate projectors to three seperate screens that brought the aspect ratio from 1.33:1 to 4.00:1.  It's a pity that only the Francis Ford Coppola authorized version of it is available in USA (and elsewhere) - the original running time was something on the order of 6 hours and, while Kevin Brownlow has restored and screened a version of it close to that (330 minutes), only the 235 minute Coppola version is allowed to be shown here. 

Great film at any rate and highly recommended - along with the other Gance directed silent epics J'ACCUSE! (1919) and LA ROUE (1923).

Kindest regards,

Kevin P.

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: RCMerchant on September 03, 2007, 12:56:40 PM
 Though not very entertaining, sound films were being experimented with by Edison as far back as 1888...heres's a short done in 1895 by Edison..kinda interesting from a historical context-


Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: Jim H on September 06, 2007, 12:49:12 AM
Sunrise: A Song of two Humans is not just one of my favorite silent films, but one of my favorite films period.  It's beautiful.  It's a quasi-silent - there is a synchronized score with a couple sound effects, but no dialogue you can hear.  The imagery is fantastic, and on a raw emotional level, it just gets to me.  It's by FW Murnau, best known for Nosferatu.  The camera work is amazingly advanced, and seeing it will really show you how much synchronized sound tied down cameras for a LOOOONG time.

There's a decent quality version on youtube...  But I'd have to suggest seeing it on a large screen if possible.  Also, it has an unusual ratio..  About 1.22:1, it's almost square, thanks to its unusual sound system.

I've also liked some work by Buster Keaton, but I found the General appallingly boring.  I was quite surprised at that, considering its almost universal praise. 

From Charlie Chaplin, my favorite of his that I've seen is Modern Times, which is a quasi-silent, somewhat like Sunrise.  You hear dialogue only from machines (speakers, recordings, etc). 

There are a few quite entertaining action and caper films out there which are silent.  I suggest Fairbank's Robin Hood.  It's often slammed compared to some of his other films, but it is my favorite of his that I've seen. 

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: RCMerchant on September 06, 2007, 05:42:58 AM
 Just saw the WIND (1928) with Lillian Gish. A great movie bout a young lady from the East who moves a place where it seems to be a perpetual andstorm constantly. It nearly drives her mad. The Sand blasting against the windows almost seems an  evil enity. Recommended!

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: Him on September 06, 2007, 09:40:59 PM
The only Silent Film I like is Metropolis.

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: dean on September 07, 2007, 03:15:16 AM

Oh how could I forget the early film Un Chien Andalou.

Great surrealist film.


Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: Trevor on September 07, 2007, 06:46:50 AM
Hi RC, great topic.  :smile:

South Africa made many silent films from 1910 to 1925 and unfortunately, many of these are lost with only stills and pieces of films remaining. Some of the missing titles are:

The Great Kimberley Diamond Robbery (1910)
The Bridge (1918)
The Voice Of The Waters (1918)
The Man Who Was Afraid (1920)
The Swallow (1921)
The Vulture's Prey (1921)
The Blue Lagoon (1923)

Ones that are thankfully still with us are the epic De Voortrekkers (The Pathfinders, 1916), King Solomon's Mines (1918) and the war drama The Symbol of Sacrifice (1918)

Title: Re: Silent Films
Post by: RCMerchant on September 09, 2007, 09:59:56 PM
 Alert! Great silent classic on TCM tonite ...! the CAT and the CANARY (1928)!!!