The 1920s, also known as the “Roaring Twenties,” was a decade of significant social and cultural change, marked by an explosion of creativity and artistic expression. The film industry was no exception, and the 1920s saw the emergence of some of the most iconic and influential films in history.

Silent films were still dominant during this decade, and many of the films produced during this time relied heavily on visual storytelling and expressive performances.

Some of the most important genres of the decade were comedies, dramas, and horror films, which often reflected the changing social and cultural landscape of the time.

Many of the films of the 1920s continue to be celebrated and studied today, both for their historical significance and for their artistic merit.

Best 1920s Movies

From iconic silent comedies to groundbreaking dramas and horror films, the films of the 1920s paved the way for the modern cinematic landscape and continue to inspire and entertain audiences around the world.

1. Metropolis (1927)

“Metropolis” is a German expressionist science fiction movie released in 1927, directed by Fritz Lang.

The film takes place in a futuristic city where the ruling class lives in luxury, while the working class toils in dangerous and difficult conditions below ground.

When the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working-class woman, he becomes embroiled in a rebellion against his father’s oppressive regime.

“Metropolis” is renowned for its striking visual design, featuring elaborate and highly stylized sets, costumes, and special effects.

The film’s themes of social inequality, industrialization, and the dangers of technology were groundbreaking for their time, and continue to be relevant today.

The movie’s iconic image of the robot Maria has become an enduring symbol of both the film and of science fiction as a genre.

While “Metropolis” was initially a commercial failure and received mixed reviews, it has since been recognized as a landmark of cinema, and has influenced countless filmmakers in the decades since its release.

The movie has been restored and re-released several times over the years, with each restoration bringing new appreciation for its technical and artistic achievements.

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Metropolis (Restored Authorized Edition)
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Frhlich (Actors)
  • Fritz Lang (Director) - Thea von Harbou (Writer)
  • Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

   

2. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

“Battleship Potemkin” is a 1925 Soviet silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein. The film tells the story of a mutiny on board the Russian battleship Potemkin in 1905, and the subsequent response by the Tsarist government.

The film is renowned for its use of montage, a technique in which images are juxtaposed and edited together to create meaning and emotion.

It features several iconic scenes, including the famous “Odessa Steps” sequence, in which the government troops march down a staircase to attack the civilians.

“Battleship Potemkin” was initially met with controversy and censorship, but has since been recognized as a landmark of cinema history.

Its innovative use of editing and its powerful political message have influenced generations of filmmakers, and it remains a testament to the power of visual storytelling.

The film’s themes of social justice and the struggle for freedom continue to resonate with audiences today, and its influence can be seen in a wide range of films and artistic movements.

It is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, and a testament to the power of cinema to inspire and provoke change.

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Battleship Potemkin (The Special Edition)
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Sergei Eisenstein (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

3. Wings (1927)

“Wings” is a 1927 American silent war film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, and Richard Arlen.

The film is set during World War I and tells the story of two young men who enlist in the Army Air Service and become pilots, while also competing for the affections of a beautiful nurse.

The film is notable for its groundbreaking technical achievements, including its use of aerial photography and extensive use of real aircraft in its action sequences.

It was also the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and it helped to establish the Hollywood studio system as we know it today.

In addition to its technical accomplishments, “Wings” is also notable for its sensitive portrayal of the human cost of war and its examination of themes of camaraderie, sacrifice, and redemption.

The film’s powerful emotional impact and its thrilling aerial sequences have made it a beloved classic of American cinema.

Today, “Wings” is remembered as a landmark achievement in the history of cinema and a pioneering work that helped to establish the language and conventions of the Hollywood film industry.

Its themes of bravery, sacrifice, and the human toll of war continue to resonate with audiences today, and its technical innovations have continued to inspire filmmakers around the world.

Wings
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Clara Bow, Charles Rogers, Richard Arlen (Actors)
  • William A. Wellman (Director) - John Monk (Writer) - Lucien Hubbard (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” is a German silent horror film released in 1920, directed by Robert Wiene and written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer.

The film is considered a masterpiece of German Expressionist cinema and is known for its stylized sets and eerie, unsettling atmosphere.

The film follows the story of a mysterious doctor, Dr. Caligari, who travels with a somnambulist (sleepwalker) named Cesare, whom he displays at carnivals and fairs.

However, when a series of murders occur in the town, suspicions arise that Caligari and Cesare may be involved.

The film is notable for its use of twisted, distorted sets that create a dreamlike and disturbing atmosphere. It features several memorable scenes, including the famous twist ending that reveals the true nature of the story.

   

“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” was a critical and commercial success and is considered a landmark of the horror genre. The film has been cited as an influence on many later filmmakers, particularly in the horror and suspense genres.

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The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Special Collector's Edition)
  • Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher (Actors)
  • Robert Wiene (Director) - Carl Mayer (Writer)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

5. The General (1926)

The General is a classic silent film released in 1926, directed by Clyde Bruckman and Buster Keaton, who also stars in the lead role.

The movie is set during the American Civil War and tells the story of Johnnie Gray, a train engineer who sets out to rescue his beloved locomotive, the General, after it is stolen by Union spies.

The General is known for its innovative stunts and breathtaking action sequences, which were ahead of their time in terms of technical skill and creativity.

The film’s iconic chase scenes, including a thrilling locomotive chase through the countryside, have become legendary in the history of cinema.

Beyond its impressive action sequences, The General is also a testament to Keaton’s skill as a filmmaker and storyteller. The film’s blend of humor, suspense, and romance makes it a timeless classic that continues to delight audiences today.

The General’s influence on the history of cinema cannot be overstated. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest silent films ever made, and its impact on the art of filmmaking can be seen in countless movies that have followed in its wake.

If you’re a fan of classic cinema, action-adventure films, or just great storytelling, The General is a must-watch.

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6. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

“The Phantom of the Opera” is a 1925 silent horror film directed by Rupert Julian and starring Lon Chaney in the title role.

The film is based on the French novel “Le Fantôme de l’Opéra” by Gaston Leroux and tells the story of a disfigured composer who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing havoc and terror among the performers and staff.

One of the most striking features of the film is Chaney’s incredible makeup, which he designed himself.

The makeup, which included a nose extension, false teeth, and a wire-and-leather harness that distorted Chaney’s cheeks and eye sockets, was so effective that it became a key part of the character’s iconic look.

Another notable aspect of the film is its lavish sets and costumes, which recreate the grandeur and opulence of the Paris Opera House. The film’s use of color tinting and two-strip Technicolor also adds to its visual splendor.

“The Phantom of the Opera” was a commercial and critical success upon its release and has since become a classic of horror cinema. Its influence can be seen in later adaptations of the story, as well as in the broader horror genre.

The film’s enduring popularity is a testament to its enduring power and innovation, and it remains a must-see for fans of classic cinema.

The Phantom of the Opera - The Ultimate Edition (1925 Original Version and 1929 Restored Version) [DVD]
  • Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry (Actors)
  • Edward Sedgwick (Director) - Bernard McConville (Writer)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

7. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a 1921 silent epic war film directed by Rex Ingram, based on the novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez.

The film follows the story of Julio, a young Argentinian man of French heritage, and his family, as they navigate the tumultuous events of World War I.

The film is noted for its groundbreaking use of special effects, including large-scale battle scenes and vivid depictions of destruction and devastation.

It is also praised for its nuanced portrayal of the war’s impact on different cultures and social classes, and for its exploration of themes such as loyalty, betrayal, and the futility of war.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was a massive critical and commercial success upon its release, and is often cited as one of the most important and influential films of the silent era.

Its iconic imagery and powerful storytelling continue to captivate audiences today, and the film’s impact can be seen in the many war films that have followed in its footsteps.

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8. Nosferatu (1922)

“Nosferatu” is a German expressionist horror movie released in 1922, directed by F.W. Murnau.

The film is a loose adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula,” but due to copyright issues, the filmmakers had to change the names and some aspects of the story.

The film tells the story of Thomas Hutter, a real estate agent who travels to a remote castle in Transylvania to help the mysterious Count Orlok (Max Schreck) purchase a house in his hometown.

Hutter soon realizes that Orlok is actually a vampire, and sets out to stop him from spreading his curse.

“Nosferatu” is renowned for its iconic and eerie portrayal of the vampire, which has become a classic representation of the creature in popular culture.

The film’s use of shadow and light, elaborate costumes and makeup, and unsettling score create a haunting and unforgettable atmosphere.

The movie’s chilling climax, in which Orlok is destroyed by the rays of the rising sun, has become one of the most iconic scenes in horror cinema.

While “Nosferatu” was not a commercial success at the time of its release, it has since become a cult classic and one of the most influential horror movies of all time. The film’s influence can be seen in countless vampire movies and horror films in the years since its release.

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Nosferatu
  • Max Schreck, Greta Schrder, Ruth Landshoff (Actors)
  • F.W. Murnau (Director) - Bram Stoker (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

9. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (I) (1923)

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is a 1923 silent film directed by Wallace Worsley and starring Lon Chaney in the lead role.

The film is an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel of the same name, and tells the story of Quasimodo, a deformed bell-ringer at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The film is known for Chaney’s iconic performance as Quasimodo, which required him to wear an elaborate makeup and prosthetic costume.

It also features impressive set designs that recreate the medieval architecture of Paris and the grandeur of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest silent films ever made.

It is celebrated for its grandeur and spectacle, as well as its emotional depth and powerful performances.

The film’s themes of social injustice, love, and redemption continue to resonate with audiences today, and it remains a landmark of cinema history. It has been remade and adapted several times over the years, but the 1923 version remains a classic of the silent film era.

Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller (Actors)
  • William Dieterle (Director) - Victor Hugo (Writer) - Carl Laemmle (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

10. Napoleon (1927)

“Napoleon” is a 1927 silent epic historical drama film directed by Abel Gance. The film tells the story of Napoleon Bonaparte’s early life and military campaigns, from his childhood in Corsica to his rise to power as Emperor of France.

The film is notable for its innovative use of cinematic techniques, including a widescreen format, multiple camera angles, rapid editing, and intricate special effects. It was also one of the first films to use a synchronized musical score and sound effects.

Despite its technical accomplishments, “Napoleon” was not a commercial success upon its initial release, and it was largely forgotten for many years.

However, in the 1980s, a restored version of the film was screened at film festivals around the world, and it was widely acclaimed for its technical prowess and its powerful emotional impact.

Today, “Napoleon” is regarded as a masterpiece of silent cinema and a landmark achievement in the history of filmmaking.

Its innovative use of cinematic techniques and its epic scope have made it a touchstone for filmmakers and cinephiles around the world, and its influence can be seen in the works of directors such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Steven Spielberg.

Napoleon (1927) ( Napoléon vu par Abel Gance ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, Blu-Ray, Reg.B Import - United Kingdom ]
  • Napoleon (1927) ( Napoléon vu par Abel Gance )
  • Napoleon (1927)
  • Napoléon vu par Abel Gance
  • Albert Dieudonné, Vladimir Roudenko, Edmond Van Daële (Actors)
  • Abel Gance (Director) - Napoleon (1927) ( Napoléon vu par Abel Gance ) (Producer)

11. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

“The Passion of Joan of Arc” is a French silent film released in 1928, directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and starring Renée Jeanne Falconetti in a powerful and iconic performance as Joan of Arc.

The film is widely regarded as a masterpiece of silent cinema and is known for its stunning cinematography and intense emotional impact.

The film tells the story of Joan of Arc, the young French peasant girl who led the French army to several victories during the Hundred Years’ War before being captured, tried for heresy, and burned at the stake.

The film focuses on her trial and execution, with much of the action taking place in close-ups of the actors’ faces, allowing for a powerful emotional connection between the characters and the audience.

“The Passion of Joan of Arc” is notable for its groundbreaking use of close-ups and stark, minimalist sets, as well as Falconetti’s haunting and unforgettable performance.

The film has been praised for its emotional power and spiritual depth, and is considered a classic of world cinema.

Despite some initial controversy, “The Passion of Joan of Arc” has become widely acclaimed and influential over the years, and has been hailed as a major achievement in film history.

The Passion Of Joan Of Arc (1928) (Masters of Cinema) Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) ( La passion de Jeanne d'Arc ) (Blu-Ray & DVD Combo)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
  • La passion de Jeanne d'Arc
  • Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley (Actors)
  • Carl Theodor Dreyer (Director) - The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) ( La passion de Jeanne d'Arc )...

12. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is a silent film released in 1925, directed by Fred Niblo and starring Ramon Novarro in the lead role.

The movie tells the story of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince living under Roman occupation in Judea, and his quest for revenge against his childhood friend Messala, who has become a powerful Roman tribune.

Ben-Hur is known for its epic scale and impressive production values, including a massive chariot race scene that is considered one of the greatest action sequences in the history of cinema.

The film’s emphasis on spectacle and grandeur was a hallmark of the silent era and helped to establish it as a major form of popular entertainment.

Beyond its impressive visuals, Ben-Hur is also notable for its exploration of religious themes and its depiction of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

The film’s portrayal of the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus is particularly striking, and its emphasis on forgiveness and redemption is a powerful message that continues to resonate with audiences today.

Ben-Hur’s legacy in the history of cinema is significant. It was one of the highest-grossing films of the silent era, and its influence on the epic film genre can be seen in many movies that followed, including the 1959 remake of Ben-Hur, which went on to win a record 11 Academy Awards.

If you’re a fan of epic filmmaking, historical dramas, or classic silent cinema, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is a must-watch.

Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ (1925)
  • Ramon Novarro, May McAvoy (Actors)
  • Fred Niblo (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

13. The Gold Rush (1925)

“The Gold Rush” is a 1925 silent comedy film written, directed, produced, and starring Charlie Chaplin. The film tells the story of a lone prospector, known only as “The Lone Prospector” (played by Chaplin), who travels to Alaska during the gold rush in search of fortune and love.

One of the most famous scenes in the film features Chaplin’s character eating a shoe, which he has boiled and prepared like a delicacy.

The scene is often cited as one of the most memorable in film history and a classic example of Chaplin’s unique brand of physical comedy.

Another notable aspect of the film is its use of stunning location photography to recreate the rugged and remote Alaskan wilderness.

The film’s depiction of the harsh realities of life in the gold rush era is both comedic and poignant, highlighting the struggles and triumphs of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

“The Gold Rush” was a critical and commercial success upon its release and has since become a beloved classic of silent cinema.

Its enduring popularity is a testament to Chaplin’s enduring talent as a filmmaker and performer, and the film remains a must-see for fans of classic comedy and cinema.

The Gold Rush (1925)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray (Actors)
  • Charles Chaplin (Director) - Charles Chaplin (Writer) - Charles Chaplin (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

14. The Big Parade (1925)

The Big Parade is a 1925 silent war film directed by King Vidor, and is widely considered one of the greatest war films of all time. The film follows the story of Jim Apperson, a wealthy young man who joins the army during World War I, and his experiences on the front lines.

The Big Parade is known for its stunning cinematography, which captures the brutality and devastation of war while also showcasing the natural beauty of the French countryside.

The film’s performances, particularly that of John Gilbert as Jim, are also highly praised for their emotional depth and realism.

The Big Parade was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and is credited with helping to establish the genre of war films.

It is also significant for its portrayal of the psychological toll of war on soldiers, a theme that was relatively new at the time. The film’s impact can be seen in the many war films that have followed in its footsteps, and it remains a powerful and influential work of cinema.

The Big Parade (1925)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth (Actors)
  • King Vidor (Director) - Harry Behn (Writer) - King Vidor (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

15. The Wind (1928)

“The Wind” is a silent American drama movie released in 1928, directed by Victor Sjöström and starring Lillian Gish.

The film follows the story of Letty Mason (Lillian Gish), a young woman from Virginia who moves to Texas to live with her cousin and his family. Letty finds it difficult to adjust to the harsh and unforgiving environment of the West, where she is constantly battered by the fierce winds that blow through the open plains.

As Letty struggles to adapt to her new surroundings, she becomes involved in a complex love triangle that leads to tragedy.

“The Wind” is renowned for its stunning visuals and powerful performances, particularly by Gish, who delivers a moving portrayal of a woman struggling to survive in a hostile environment.

The movie’s use of symbolism, such as the winds that constantly assail Letty, and its exploration of themes such as isolation and madness, have led many critics to consider it a masterpiece of silent cinema.

While “The Wind” was not a commercial success at the time of its release, it has since been recognized as a classic of early cinema, and a landmark of feminist filmmaking.

The film’s unique blend of psychological drama, melodrama, and naturalistic imagery has influenced generations of filmmakers in the decades since its release.

16. Greed (1924)

“Greed” is a 1924 silent film directed by Erich von Stroheim and based on the 1899 novel “McTeague” by Frank Norris. The film tells the story of McTeague, a dentist who marries his best friend’s fiancée, and their descent into poverty, jealousy, and murder.

The film is known for its intense realism, attention to detail, and bleak portrayal of human nature. It was also notable for its use of location shooting, which was unusual for the time, and its lengthy running time of over 9 hours (although the studio ultimately cut it down to a more manageable 4-hour version).

Despite its artistic merits, “Greed” was a commercial failure upon its release and the studio’s cuts to the film left it disjointed and incomplete. However, over the years it has been rediscovered and is now widely regarded as a masterpiece of cinema.

Its exploration of greed and the corrupting influence of money remains relevant today, and its influence can be seen in many films that followed.

The film’s troubled production and eventual reception are a testament to the challenges of creating art within the commercial constraints of the film industry, and its enduring legacy is a testament to the power of cinema to provoke thought and emotion.

Greed (1924)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • ZaSu Pitts, Gibson Gowland, Jean Hersholt (Actors)
  • Erich von Stroheim (Director) - June Mathis (Writer) - Kevin Brownlow (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

17. The Circus (1928)

“The Circus” is a 1928 silent comedy film directed by Charlie Chaplin. In the film, Chaplin plays his iconic “Tramp” character, who becomes accidentally involved in a circus and ends up performing as a clown.

Along the way, he falls in love with a beautiful circus rider and must compete with a handsome tightrope walker for her affections.

The film is notable for its inventive physical comedy, including a memorable scene in which the Tramp struggles to stay on a tightrope while a group of monkeys wreak havoc around him.

It also features a poignant romantic subplot, which is rare in Chaplin’s films, and showcases his skill as a dramatic actor.

Despite some initial production difficulties, “The Circus” was a commercial and critical success upon its release, and it remains one of Chaplin’s most beloved and enduring films.

Its blend of slapstick humor and heartfelt emotion continues to delight audiences around the world, and it is widely regarded as a classic of silent cinema.

The Circus: The Chaplin Collection (Two Disc Special Edition)
  • When we first meet Chaplin's Tramp in this comic gem, he's in typical straits: broke, hungry,...
  • Charles Chaplin, Merna Kennedy, Al Ernest Garcia (Actors)
  • Charles Chaplin (Director) - Charles Chaplin (Writer)
  • English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Georgian (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

18. Sunrise (1927)

“Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” is a silent film released in 1927, directed by F.W. Murnau and starring George O’Brien and Janet Gaynor.

The film is widely regarded as a masterpiece of the silent era and is known for its stunning visuals, innovative techniques, and powerful emotional impact.

The film tells the story of a farmer who is seduced by a city woman and is tempted to kill his wife in order to be with her. However, he ultimately decides to spare his wife’s life and the two of them take a boat trip to rekindle their love.

Along the way, they experience a series of trials and tribulations that test their love and commitment to one another.

“Sunrise” is notable for its groundbreaking use of camera techniques, including double exposures, superimpositions, and complex tracking shots.

The film also features stunning visuals and a powerful emotional arc that has made it one of the most acclaimed and beloved films of the silent era.

Upon its release, “Sunrise” was hailed as a masterpiece and won several awards, including the first Academy Award for Best Unique and Artistic Picture. It has since been recognized as a major achievement in film history and is considered one of the greatest films of all time.

Sunrise [Blu-ray + DVD] (Masters of Cinema) (1927)
  • Contains Both Blu-ray & DVD versions - Special Dual Format Edition - Restored HD transfers >...
  • Three Discs - Rare Outtakes with John Bailey Commentary - Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Original English intertitles on the Movietone and optional English subtitles on the Czech
  • Original Movietone Score (mono) - Alternate Olympic Chamber Orchestra (stereo). Full-length Audio...
  • 20 Page Booklet with Details of the Film Restorations and Comparisons of Versions

19. Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922)

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler is a silent film released in 1922, directed by Fritz Lang and starring Rudolf Klein-Rogge in the lead role.

The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Norbert Jacques and tells the story of the diabolical criminal mastermind, Dr. Mabuse, who uses his incredible intellect and cunning to manipulate and control those around him.

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler is known for its innovative storytelling and groundbreaking visual style.

The film’s use of expressionist techniques, including distorted sets and exaggerated lighting, creates a nightmarish atmosphere that perfectly captures the sense of unease and paranoia that permeates the story.

Beyond its technical achievements, Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler is also a powerful commentary on the social and political turmoil of the time.

The film reflects the anxieties of post-World War I Germany, a society grappling with economic hardship, political instability, and a sense of moral decay.

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler’s influence on the history of cinema cannot be overstated. It was one of the first great works of German expressionism, a movement that had a profound impact on the art of filmmaking around the world.

The film’s themes of power, control, and manipulation have inspired countless movies and TV shows in the decades since its release.

If you’re a fan of classic cinema, innovative storytelling, or just great filmmaking, Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler is a must-watch. It remains a timeless masterpiece that continues to captivate and inspire audiences today.

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Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler
  • DR. MABUSE, THE GAMBLER-RESTORED AUTH ED (DVD MOVIE)
  • Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede Nissen, Gertrude Welcker (Actors)
  • Fritz Lang (Director) - Fritz Lang (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)

20. Faust (1926)

“Faust” is a 1926 silent film directed by German director F.W. Murnau, known for his expressionistic filmmaking style.

The film is an adaptation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s classic play “Faust” and tells the story of a man named Faust who makes a pact with the devil in exchange for youth and power.

One of the most notable aspects of the film is its visual style, which employs dramatic camera angles, intricate sets, and innovative special effects to create a dreamlike, otherworldly atmosphere.

The film’s depiction of hell, in particular, is a standout sequence, featuring striking and surreal imagery that has influenced horror cinema and art to this day.

The film also features a powerful performance by Emil Jannings as Mephisto, the devil who tempts Faust. Jannings’ performance, which ranges from sinister to seductive, is a key element in the film’s success.

“Faust” was a critical and commercial success upon its release and has since become a classic of German expressionist cinema. Its influence can be seen in later horror films and fantasy epics, and it remains a must-see for fans of silent cinema and innovative visual storytelling.

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Faust (Restored 2-Disc Deluxe Edition)
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Emil Jannings, Gosta Ekman (Actors)
  • F.W. Murnau (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

21. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

The Thief of Bagdad is a 1924 silent fantasy film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Douglas Fairbanks.

The film is loosely based on the Arabian Nights tale of the same name and follows the adventures of a roguish thief named Ahmed, who falls in love with a princess and must compete with a powerful sorcerer for her hand in marriage.

The Thief of Bagdad is notable for its elaborate special effects and stunning set designs, which create a magical and fantastical world that captivates the audience.

It is also known for its pioneering use of technicolor, which was a relatively new technology at the time.

The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and is considered one of the most important and influential films of the silent era.

Its innovative special effects and imaginative storytelling have inspired countless filmmakers and have cemented its place in the history of cinema.

The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
  • Douglas Fairbanks, Snitz Edwards (Actors)
  • Raoul Walsh (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

22. The Man Who Laughs (1928)

“The Man Who Laughs” is a silent American drama movie released in 1928, directed by Paul Leni and starring Conrad Veidt.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo and tells the story of Gwynplaine (Conrad Veidt), a disfigured man who was intentionally mutilated as a child to look like he is constantly grinning.

Despite his physical appearance, Gwynplaine becomes a successful performer in a traveling carnival, where he meets and falls in love with a blind woman named Dea.

When Gwynplaine discovers his true identity as a nobleman’s son, he is forced to choose between his past and his present.

“The Man Who Laughs” is renowned for its stunning visuals and hauntingly beautiful score, as well as Veidt’s powerful performance as Gwynplaine.

The movie’s exploration of themes such as identity, love, and the nature of beauty and ugliness have made it a classic of early cinema, and a favorite of many silent movie fans.

While “The Man Who Laughs” was not a commercial success at the time of its release, it has since become a cult classic, and has influenced many filmmakers in the years since its release.

The film’s portrayal of a man trapped by his physical appearance and struggling to find love and acceptance in a cruel world has resonated with audiences for decades, and the movie continues to be celebrated for its artistry and emotional depth.

23. The Sheik (1921)

“The Sheik” is a 1921 silent film directed by George Melford and starring Rudolph Valentino in the lead role.

The film is based on the 1919 novel of the same name by Edith Maude Hull, and tells the story of a wealthy Arab sheik who falls in love with a European woman he has kidnapped.

The film was a huge commercial success upon its release and made Valentino a major star. It also helped to popularize the “sheik” archetype in popular culture, which would become a recurring theme in Hollywood films for many years to come.

“The Sheik” was notable for its exotic location shooting in the deserts of California and Arizona, and for its portrayal of Arab culture and customs. However, it has been criticized for its racist and sexist depictions of Arabs and for its portrayal of a non-consensual romance.

Despite its flaws, “The Sheik” remains a significant film in Hollywood history, and a testament to the power of cinema to shape public perceptions and influence popular culture.

It was also a landmark in the career of Rudolph Valentino, who became a cultural icon and sex symbol in the years that followed.

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The Sheik (1921)
  • Rudolph Valentino (Actor)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

3 Characteristics of 1920s Movies

Silent films: The 1920s was the era of silent films, where movies had no synchronized sound and relied solely on visual storytelling, accompanied by live music or pre-recorded musical scores.

Silent films often relied on exaggerated facial expressions, body language, and intertitles to convey the story and emotions of the characters.

Innovative camera techniques: During the 1920s, filmmakers began experimenting with new camera techniques to enhance the visual appeal of their films. This included the use of close-ups, tracking shots, and montage sequences.

The German expressionist movement also emerged during this period, characterized by the use of unconventional camera angles, distorted perspectives, and stylized sets.

The rise of Hollywood: The 1920s saw the establishment of Hollywood as the center of the American film industry.

The major studios, including Paramount, MGM, and Warner Bros., began to dominate the market, producing hundreds of films each year.

Hollywood also became a hub of celebrity culture, with actors and actresses becoming major cultural icons and their personal lives often making headlines in the press.

3 Reasons To Watch 1920s Movies

Innovation and Creativity: The 1920s was a decade of innovation and experimentation in cinema. This was the era of silent films, which relied heavily on visual storytelling and creative use of camera techniques to convey emotions and narrative.

As a result, filmmakers of the time were constantly pushing the boundaries of what was possible, creating new techniques and styles that would influence cinema for decades to come.

Historical Significance: The 1920s was a transformative decade in world history, marked by political upheaval, technological advances, and cultural changes.

Watching films from this era can provide a unique insight into the social, economic, and political issues of the time, as well as the attitudes and values of people from different backgrounds.

Timeless Stories: Despite being made almost a century ago, many of the films from the 1920s still resonate with audiences today.

Whether it’s the tale of an epic romance or a thrilling adventure, the stories told in these films often deal with universal themes and emotions that remain relevant to audiences of all ages.

Watching these films can provide a window into the past while also offering timeless entertainment that is still enjoyed by millions around the world.

Best 1920s Movies – Wrap Up

The 1920s was a decade of great innovation and experimentation in the film industry, with filmmakers pushing the boundaries of storytelling and visual effects.

From the German expressionism of “Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler” to the epic scale of “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” the 1920s produced some of the greatest movies in cinema history.

Other notable films from this decade include the romantic comedy “The General,” the South Seas adventure “Tabu,” and the Marx Brothers’ classic comedy “Duck Soup.”

Silent film stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Greta Garbo, and Charlie Chaplin became international icons, captivating audiences with their performances.

One of the defining features of 1920s cinema was its emphasis on spectacle and grandeur, as filmmakers sought to create larger-than-life experiences for moviegoers. This led to the development of new techniques and technologies, including the use of sound, color, and special effects.

Overall, the 1920s was a transformative period in the history of cinema, laying the groundwork for the golden age of Hollywood that followed in the 1930s and beyond.

If you’re a fan of classic cinema, the films of the 1920s are a must-watch and offer a fascinating glimpse into the early days of movie-making.