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Added by johanlefourbe on 27 Nov 2015 08:51
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1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (1920's)

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People who added this item 1216 Average listal rating (702 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: If I recall it correctly, I saw this movie when I was living in England. There, I took a movie course which I found just great. Every week we would watch a movie starting with 'Cabiria' released in 1914. So, we started from the very beginning of motion picture history and moved slowly towards more recent work. Anyway, I think this flick was the 2nd one we watched during this course. Honestly, except for the funny masterpieces by/with Charles Chaplin, I always found it difficult to get really interested in silent movies. I mean, I do enjoy other silent movies but they never really blow me away and this movie was a good example. Basically, it was one of the famous movies representing the German expressionism and it was indeed quite gorgeous to look at. However, even though the story was intriguing, I got restless due to the lack of dialogues and I had a hard time investing myself in the story and the characters. Still, it is definitely worth a look though.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 96 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.3


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 146 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.3


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 339 Average listal rating (163 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 279 Average listal rating (128 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 344 Average listal rating (183 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: The other day, I was fooling around on YouTube and I came across this movie and since it has a solid reputation, I thought I might as check it out. Well, I was seriously impressed, that's for sure. First of all, I have always been interested by documentaries so it was just really neat to see this movie which is usually considered as the very first movie in this genre. Indeed, Robert Flaherty, probably not consciously, set many of the ground rules of the genre and most of the documentaries made nowadays still use these rules. Obviously, many criticised this movie because many (maybe all) of the scenes were actually staged but this criticism is rather ridiculous in my opinion. Indeed, can you imagine shooting with such ancient old cameras in such terrible conditions without setting up first the scenes? Even nowadays, they still make up some stuff. Anyway, the bottom line is, was it faithful or not? You bet it was. Indeed, with this movie, you get a fascinating look on the life of Eskimos and even though this movie is nowadays almost 100 years old, it never felt condescending. Basically, this movie is pretty much a milestone.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1703 Average listal rating (985 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9
Nosferatu (1922)


Notes: I wonder how many so-called horror fans have still to watch this masterpiece? Basically, it is simply the first and ultimate vampire flick, no more no less. In my opinion and a view shared by the gross majority of the film community, it is still an amazing feature and all the vampire flicks made after that became its legacy. On top of that, not only is it a great horror classic but it is also a fine example of German expressionism. Furthermore, who was this guy Max Schreck anyway?!? He gave here one of the weirdest performances you'll ever see but it totally worked. He was so convincing that there was even this legend is that Schreck's otherworldly performance as Nosferatu was due to the fact that he was in reality a vampire. Willem Dafoe portrayed him as such, playing the vampire Count Orlok in 'Shadow of the Vampire', another movie that you should absolutely watch. Eventually, it is a great classic and it is definitely worth a look.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: Eventually, it is quite a weird flick, some very old documentary dealing with some even older superstitions mainly involving witchcraft in the Middle-Ages. It is rather funny that it is considered a horror flick when it is supposed to be a documentary. I mean, there were some rather eerie stuff, I’ll give you that but it doesn’t really qualify as ‘horror’, at least, that’s my opinion. Honestly, the whole thing feels pretty dated nowadays and you might wonder if it was really scientifically accurate. Still, even though the educational aspect might be questionable, it was still an interesting watch and it has definitely some historically value. It is also striking that the makers were rather dismissive towards the Middle-Ages beliefs but the way they put ‘hysteria’ on some vastly varied mental diseases was quite priceless (of course, in the 20’s, psychology was a rather new science). Anyway, I’m not really sure if it is really a great flick but it remains a very intriguing watch.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 148 Average listal rating (71 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
Foolish Wives (1922)


Notes: To be honest, I thought it rather difficult to review this flick. Indeed, even though it was rather long (more than 130 minutes), especially for a silent feature, it was actually supposed to be 6 hours! After watching the whole thing, you wonder how Eric von Stroheim managed to get 6 hours from this story but, I guess, we’ll never know. So, how can you review a movie when you have seen only a fraction of it? Many of us (include myself) blame Peter Jackson for indulging himself with overlong movies but, with von Stroheim, it goes to a whole different level and he must have been one of the most decadent directors that ever lived. As a matter of fact, at the time, this movie was the most expensive ever made and it figures. Indeed, even though the action takes place in Monte Carlo, and it seems as if they went there to make the movie, they actually recreated the whole thing at Universal Studios with some impressive accuracy in the details. Personally, I enjoyed above all von Stroheim who, of course, played the lead and he gave one of the best silent performances I have seen.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 108 Average listal rating (49 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.7


Notes: It was another tricky short movie to analyse. Indeed, at first, it seemed to be about a rather lonely and depressed woman pretty much stuck at home and dealing with a rather weirdo husband. In fact, she never really smiled and looked grumpy through the whole duration. It’s only afterwards that I discovered that this movie had been directed by a woman which made the whole thing even more intriguing. In fact, it is usually considered as one of the first feminist movies ever made. It mostly due to the fact that the main character was a fairly regular woman while her husband was rather grotesque which was a really unusual approach back in the 1920’s. Anyway, I was above all intrigued by its visual aspect. Indeed, that’s the cool thing with such old movies, back then, all filmmakers had to experiment because the actual rules of filmmaking didn’t exist yet. In this case, they came up with something so striking, mixing some hyper realism with some surreal imagery. The end-result was therefore at once very pure and simple and yet quite complex as well. Of course, you could argue that the plot was really simplistic but that’s not where lies the power of this movie. Indeed, above all, it had a strong visual aspect and I wonder if this movie could have been an inspiration for David Lynch, the master mindf*cker.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 251 Average listal rating (151 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: Well, it was definitely quite entertaining. First of all, even though it was shot almost 100 years ago (by the way, the version I saw on YouTube was of a pristine quality, it’s too bad there was some interruptions every 5 minutes for some damned commercials), the action was taking place almost a 100 years before so Keaton had obviously a lot of fun recreating this time period. Indeed, New York was pretty much unrecognizable and there was a long sequence involving the strangest little train I have ever seen. In fact, this train was actually accurate to the time period. There was also a hilarious vintage bicycle at the beginning. Concerning the story itself, it might sound like a drama but, in the hands of Keaton, it became quite a farce with many incredible stunts and even more visual gags. To be honest, at the end of the day, I have to admit that it was still slightly too random for my taste. Furthermore, you might wonder if the material was enough for a feature length movie as every joke was stretched for quite some time so a shorter version might have been more effective. Anyway, it was still definitely a solid silent comedy.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 99 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.4
The Wheel (1923)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 312 Average listal rating (163 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.1


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 561 Average listal rating (357 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 8.2
Sherlock, Jr. (1924)


Notes: To be honest, so far, after watching around 5 of his movies, I can’t say I have become a huge fan of Buster Keaton's work. However, since this movie had a rather stellar reputation, I was quite eager to check it out. Well, I wasn't disappointed, that's for sure. Indeed, the damned thing was a total blast and easily one of the best silent comedies I have seen so far. Indeed, as usual with Keaton, the whole thing was quite random but, in the contrary to his other movies, it worked fine here. Basically, most of the duration was just a dream but it didn't stop here as they also gave us a 'movie within a movie'. In fact, it was probably the first time this gimmick was ever used but it was visually quite clever and actually very well done. Anyway, from the moment Keaton went through this screen, pretty much everything became possible and it became one of the most freewheeling movie experiences I ever had. Indeed, it was so wild and I don't how many times I was gasping at the insane scenes that Keaton gave us combining some magic tricks, some marvellous daredevil stunts and even some awesome pool trick shots. There were a couple of times I even had no clue how they actually pulled this off. Anyway, the damned thing definitely deserves his awesome reputation and it is, in my opinion, Buster Keaton's magnum opus.
johanlefourbe's rating:


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 323 Average listal rating (125 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.1
Greed (1924) (1925)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 227 Average listal rating (109 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8


Notes: I have seen quite a few silent features but, to be honest, I usually have a hard time to watch them. Personally, I find it pretty tough to sit through a full length feature without any dialogs, especially when it is about 3 hours long. However, I had a good time to watch this one though because it was actually quite fun.Basically, it is a great adventure, a real escapist feature, and I thought it was more entertaining than all those heavy dramas directed by D.W. Griffith for example. I especially enjoyed the first part when you have Douglas Fairbanks making some trouble in Bagdad’s market. To be honest, as soon as he fell in love with the princess, the whole thing lost some steam and I preferred when he was just a devilish thief. Also, the fact that ‘Aladdin’, one of my favorites Disney animated features, was basically a remake of this old classic, might have played a part in the fact that I didn’t completely enjoyed this feature since I already knew most of the plot. Furthermore, the thief, as a character, is actually more fun than Aladdin but you miss the genius and, with a running time around 140 minutes, it was just too long for its own good. Still, it is definitely a fun and entertaining movie.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 225 Average listal rating (126 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.6
Strike (1925)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 57 Average listal rating (27 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.6
The Eagle (1925)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 455 Average listal rating (242 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: First of all, is it really a horror feature? Sometimes, I thought it was actually pretty funny above all because of the mannered acting of those silent movies. I mean, with a Charles Chaplin movie, it works like a charm but with a horror flick like this one, it makes you chuckle quite often. Also, even though at first I was quite happy with the awesome classic music, it was actually rather distracting because, since it wasn’t especially composed for this movie, it often didn’t fit at all the action. Still, the production value was quite impressive, especially for a movie made 90 years ago, and there was definitely something dark and ominous about the whole thing, especially the awesome bal masqué with the Phantom disguised as the Red Death. And, of course, you have Lon Chaney. Man, this guy was impressive, playing one hell of a psycho, and to think he designed himself his own make-up was even more astonishing (apparently, it is something he took care of in all his movies).
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 872 Average listal rating (535 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8


Notes: To be honest, it has been a while since I have this flick and I should probably re-watch it at some point. By now, I have seen more than 6000 movies and, following this mad obsession about movies, I have seen many very old classics and I have noticed that it is very often hit-and-miss with such timeless features. Indeed, with some of them, I could see right away why they have been heralded through all the years but, for some others, it seems more that they were groundbreaking when they were released but they seem to be rather dated nowadays. Well, in this case, with this movie, it thought it was pretty good and, from a technical point of view, Eisenstein was quite a genius who came up with some movie technics that were never used before but, still, was it really such a fascinating story? I’m not so sure. I mean, it is probably the best propaganda film ever made but, even so, the propaganda genre has its limitations and, as a result, this movie still didn’t really blow me away. Anyway, even though it didn’t become one of my all time favorite movies, it is still a really interesting watch.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 960 Average listal rating (619 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
The Gold Rush (1925)


Notes: What can be said about this movie that hasn’t been said so many times before? Basically, it is pure and simply another impressive piece of cinema coming from Charles Chaplin and it is probably even better than 'The Circus' which I also loved. In fact, I have actually a nice story about this flick. At some point, I displayed this movie to my step-children because I thought it was important for their education. Back then, Nick, my step-son, was only 8 years old but, suddenly, out of nowhere, now 15 years old, during one of our endless conversations about movies, Nick started to precisely described in details the famous scene when the Tramp eats his shoe. Seriously, it was quite something and it shows the huge impact of this movie (but it could be said about anything done by this guy). Myself, I started to watch this movie when I was just a kid and, already then, I thought it was just fascinating and completely hilarious.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 160 Average listal rating (65 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 1970 Average listal rating (1036 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
Metropolis (1927)


Notes: In fact, I had actually already seen this movie but it was only once and it was more than ten years ago with my sister. I remember it very well, I saw this movie during the 100th birthday anniversary of Cinema and I was able see it on the big screen (which was very cool) but, unfortunately, the copy they managed to get was in such a very bad shape that they had to stop the show every 10 minutes to fix it up (which was completely not cool...). As a result, it wasn't really a rewarding experience and a re-watch was pretty much a must. Eventually, after all these years, I finally saw the damned thing again and it was definitely worth it. Indeed, it was quite extraordinary how insane and visionary this movie was. To be honest, the pacing was not always amazing and the lack of dialogues made the whole thing still rather sluggish (the fact that there was no real complete version didn't help either I guess) but, still, it is definitely the first Science-Fiction masterpiece and, 90 years later, it's still hold up very well.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 642 Average listal rating (365 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.1
Sunrise (1944)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 740 Average listal rating (477 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.1
The General (1926)


Notes: Even though I'm a huge fan of Charles Chaplin, having seen all his full length directing efforts and many of his shorts, I must admit that I'm pretty much illiterate concerning Buster Keaton. As a matter of fact, before watching this flick, I had never seen any of other movies before! As you can imagine, I had some huge expectations before watching the damned thing and, to be honest, I have to admit that I was actually a little bit disappointed. I mean, it was pretty good and I definitely enjoyed it but I can't say I was blown away like I was with Chaplin's movies. I don't know, it was definitely funny but I never really cared about the main character and what he was going through. Eventually, even though Buster Keaton always said that this was his favorite movie, it was a huge flop and Keaton slowly disappeared into obscurity. Still, there were some impressive stunts (no CGI back then) and there is no doubt that Keaton can be sometimes really hilarious.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 206 Average listal rating (115 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Unknown (1927)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 244 Average listal rating (119 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.5


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 213 Average listal rating (95 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.2
Napoléon (1927)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 139 Average listal rating (78 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 181 Average listal rating (97 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.1
The Crowd (1928)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 130 Average listal rating (70 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.5


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...


Notes: This movie was quite mind-blowing and it really deserves its reputation as one of the best silent movies. Indeed, if nowadays, movies are dominated by huge blockbusters with some wall-to-wall CGI, well this movie is the complete opposite. Indeed, this movie is rather minimalistic and focuses on the trial of Jeanne D’Arc, so it is mostly indoors dominated by the dialogs between Jeanne and the juges and you barely get a glimpse of the (allegedly) really expensive decors ordered by Carl Theodor Dreyer. From the moment that Maria Falconetti shows up on the screen, I knew she was something else. Nowadays, her performance is still considered as one of the best ever given on the silver screen and it was indeed really impressive. You can imagine that Dreyer must have messed her up pretty bad to get this numb expression, her face is one you will never forget. This movie has also many layers. From an historical point of view, you can see that the Church, a powerful political force at the time, felt threatened by this girl who was amazingly popular among the French people and argued she had a direct connection with God. You can also read that it is a tale about Fanaticism. Fanaticism from Jeanne who goes to war after speaking to God and Fanaticism from her judges who will kill her because she doesn’t follow their dogma.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 283 Average listal rating (185 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: Even though I'm a huge fan of Charlie Chaplin, I must confess, I have always been kind of oblivious about Buster Keaton. Indeed, so far I only saw 'The General' which didn't really blow me away. Anyway, this was my second movie starring Keaton and I really enjoyed it though. Basically, the plot was some kind of typical 'Romeo and Juliet' tale and it was a good excuse to get some funny jokes and spectacular stunts. And that's also probably the reason I still prefer Chaplin to Keaton. Indeed, even though Chaplin's work was also constantly hilarious, there was also this amazing poetic tone and/or some really deep thoughtfulness and I kind of missed that in Keaton's movies. I mean, it was a really funny flick and I was laughing my ass off more than once and some of the physical stunts were just amazing and became deservedly quite legendary but I think that it was basically the whole point of this production, to make us laugh and surprise the audience but it stopped there and it didn't go the extra mile like the movies of Chaplin. Still, I definitely have to watch more movies from this guy.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 105 Average listal rating (42 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.1


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 1206 Average listal rating (720 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.7


Notes: To be honest, it has been ages since I have seen this flick and I should probably re-watch it at some point. Anyway, it is probably the most famous surrealist movie ever made. Indeed, if the combination of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali sounded awesome on paper, these guys didn’t disappoint and they definitely delivered one of the weirdest movies ever made. It is interesting that Buñuel’s career really flourish afterwards as he became arguably one of the greatest masters in this Art but you might wonder if Dali really cherished the experience since he wouldn’t be really involved in any other movie afterwards. In fact, they were supposed to work together again on ‘L’âge d’or’ but they had apparently a major falling out so Buñuel took care of it on his own. Anyway, even though the damned thing might not be an easy watch, it is a classic and pretty much a must-see for any decent movie buff.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 35 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 6.5


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 550 Average listal rating (300 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 8.4


Notes: Basically, this movie is quite unique. It is more than 80 years old, and it is not some fiction but not a documentary either. Basically, it is something quite different. It seemed to be some kind of experiment to see how far you could go with a camera and those guys invented or developed many movie techniques in the process such as double exposure, fast motion, slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, extreme close-ups, tracking shots, footage played backwards, stop motion animation,… From an historical point of view, this movie is therefore an amazing treasure. I mean, if you have any interest in movie as an Art form, it is pretty much a must-see. However, I must confess, the whole thing was not really entertaining to watch though. Indeed, it is basically a collection of random footage and the one scene has barely anything to do with another and even though there were some awesome shots, it was sometimes pretty tedious to watch. Still, it is a classic, a very interesting watch, and it is definitely worth a look.
johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 379 Average listal rating (169 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.9


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...
People who added this item 228 Average listal rating (108 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7
Blackmail (1929)


Notes: I haven't seen this one yet...

Many years ago, I actually discovered this website thanks to the awesome list 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die but, unfortunately, this list is not up to date anymore so I have decided to create my own version. I will try to add every day a new movie and, of course, I will keep it up to date.


(5th edition)



(6th edition)


Furthermore, if you're like me and you don't feel like browsing through the whole list, you can now use this index :

- MAIN LIST
- 1001 Movies ... (2020's)
- 1001 Movies ... (2010's)
- 1001 Movies ... (2000's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1990's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1980's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1970's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1960's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1950's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1940's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1930's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1910's)
- 1001 Movies ... (1900's)

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