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Broken Blossoms (1919)
A frail waif, abused by her brutish boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.
Lillian Gish's flair for such a heartbreaking approach to character alone makes this film completely worth the watch.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
By means of flashback, a young man tells of his unfortunate instance with Dr. Caligari and the deadly predictions of his somnambulist, Cesare.
The German Expressionism visual style is amazing! As well as the eerie storyline and the perfectly-executed early example of the "plot twist".
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
Dr. Henry Jekyll experiments with scientific means of revealing the hidden, dark side of man and releases a murderer from within himself.
The Kid (1921)
A Little Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put their relationship in jeopardy.
This film offers an early example of Chaplin's unique flair for blending slapstick comedy with pure sentimentality. Also, little Jackie Coogan is the most adorable thing!
A woman attempts to save her lover by making a deal with Death, who proceeds to tell her three exotic stories of women in similar situations.
Based on the story "Dracula", vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.
Safety Last! (1923)
When a store clerk organizes a contest to climb the outside of a tall building, circumstances force him to make the perilous climb himself.
My favorite film starring Harold Lloyd. His charming character make the film as a whole a wondrous delight. The last third also makes this one of the most suspenseful silent comedies I have ever seen.
Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his menial skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.
My favorite Buster Keaton film. Its intricate - at times, even surreal - style of narrative (as well as Buster's gravity-defying stunts) make every single moment of this film worth watching.
The Freshman (1925)
Go West (1925)
The Gold Rush (1925)
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
A mad, disfigured composer seeks romance with a lovely young opera singer.
Andrew Lloyd Webber - eat your heart out!
A handsome prince rides a flying horse to faraway lands and embarks on magical adventures.
This is the oldest existing full-length animated film. Though it is a bit dull at parts, the visuals themselves are exceptionally gorgeous!
The General (1926)
During the American Civil War, spies of the Union steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, which he pursues single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.
The Kid Brother (1927)
The timid youngest son of a famously brawny family must use his wits to win the respect of his strong father and to impress his love interest.
Not as great as the other Harold Lloyd films on the list (Safety Last! and The Freshman), but boy is he the cutest!
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.
I really can't say anything about this film that hasn't already been said many times before. Simply put: it is just so perfect, in every way, shape, and form.
A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife.
The Cameraman (1928)
Hopelessly in love with a woman working at MGM Studios, a clumsy man attempts to become a motion picture cameraman to be close to the object of his desire.
The Circus (1928)
A Little Tramp finds work - as well as the girl of his dreams - at a circus.
Probably the most tragically underrated Chaplin film - and, in my opinion, one of the most funniest.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.
This is worth watching simply for Maria Falconetti's absolutely heart-wrenching performance.
Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
The effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father's crew - and expresses romantic interest in the daughter of his father's rival.
Pandora's Box (1929)
The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral, but naive, young woman, whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.
City Lights (1931)
A Little Tramp struggles to help a blind flower girl he has fallen in love with, taking advantage of a the generosity of a destructive millionaire who only remembers him when he is drunk.
As stated before, Chaplin had an exceptional talent for blending comedy with tragedy, and City Lights is probably the best example of this. It also has one of my all-time favorite ending scenes in cinema.
Modern Times (1936)
A Little Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.
My favorite Chaplin film. Every single scene is memorable, and the magic never fails with subsequent viewings. A nice little farewell to the silent era, and a greeting for new things to come.
A list of some of my most favorite full-length films of the silent era.
Synopses (mostly) taken from IMDb.
Synopses (mostly) taken from IMDb.
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