Your Top 10 Fave Silent Films?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tim RH, Jan 17, 2002.

  1. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

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    I have seen several of the "great" silent movies, but I am looking for some more recommendations. So please post your lists. Thank you!
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    City Lights

    Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror

    The Cameraman

    Abel Gance's Napoleon

    Ben-Hur - A Tale of the Christ

    The Man With The Movie Camera

    Sherlock Jr.

    Modern Times

    The Unknown (Only on Turner Classic Movies every now and then.)

    also see the miniseries "Hollywood"

    in no order. (I sadly have not seen many others worth noting.)

    Others I have not seen, but have heard are excellent:

    Sunrise

    The Big Parade

    The Crowd

    Wings

    Any Lon Chaney
     
  3. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Oh heck, where to begin. Alas, not all of these are on DVD yet.

    Phantom of the Opera

    The General

    Greed

    Metropolis

    Strike (even more stunning use of editing than Battleship Potemkin)

    Napoleon

    Nosferatu

    Intolerance (If you want to see where Lucas got the editing rhythms used for the end of Return of the Jedi, see the original back in 1916!)

    It

    Sadie Thompson

    Pandora's Box

    Diary of a Lost Girl

    The Cheat

    The Lost World (get the David Shepard-produced Image DVD with the half hour restored footage)

    Ben-Hur

    Safety Last

    The Circus (my favorite silent Chaplin; much funnier to me than Gold Rush)

    Wings

    Cabinet of Caligari

    Oliver Twist (1922)

    Last of the Mohicans (1920)

    Hell's Hinges (in the Treasures from American Film Archives DVD set)

    Les Vampires

    Cabiria

    The Unknown (as nasty a movie as you're ever likely to want to see)

    Those are just a few features off the top of my head; there are oodles more meritorious silents waiting to be discovered. Kleppel's book Silent Movies is a terrific resource. I just saw Alias Jimmy Valentine (1915) which was pretty good as well.
     
  4. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

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    Maybe I should let you know the ones that I have seen so far (that I can recall; in no order):

    METROPOLIS

    GREED

    THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC

    NOSFERATU

    THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN

    THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

    PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

    CITY LIGHTS

    THE GOLD RUSH

    MODERN TIMES (and other Chaplin -and W.C. Fields- shorts)

    THE BIRTH OF A NATION

    THE LOST WORLD

    I know I'm forgetting some....
     
  5. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Tim, if you haven't seen The General, I suggest you start there. I can't say enough about what a great film it is.

    If you like Buster, also try Sherlock Jr., Our Hospitality and Seven Chances.
     
  6. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    there's an old fox theater here in town, they recently finsihed remodeling it (it's now a church) and to celebrate the remodeling they screened a restored print of The General, tickets were fifteen dollars and included a reception dinner afterwards. BUT, they did not advertise this at all! if you didn't sit on the city council or go to the church nodboyd had any clue it was going on until the day of, which was a friday, and it had a big spread in the paper. And wouldn't you know, I had to work that day. grrr...

    sorry, had to rant

    anyway I haven't seen many silents (to remdy that soon) but amazon just delivered the image charlie chaplin box set today, so i'm going to start with city lights or the gold rush (since great dictator is longer and i've seen modern times).

    Adam
     
  7. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Well I think City Lights is the SHIZ-NIT. A classic silent or otherwise (which is true for any great silent film).
    Metropolis impressed me as a kid, but it's been awhile since I've seen it.
    Nosferatu although I never seem to catch the whole thing in one sitting.
    A Trip to the Moon. I love this film, simple as it is the visuals are so wonderful. Done in a time when the concept of film was to put on a stage play in front of the camera, it doesn't detract from the clever techniques used to give various illusions of depth, etc. Popular now as the Smashing Pumpkins video basically.
    Modern Times I don't like it as much as City Lights, but it's still classic stuff.
    Ben-Hur I love the remake, but I can see why some people prefer the original. It's a very impressive film and serves to show that filmmaking in the silent era was very sophisticated.
    The Man with a Movie Camera is not classic narrative, but it does exemplify how creative filmmakers were at the time. Especially Vertov and the other Russian filmmakers of the Soviet Montage school of technique.
    Speaking of, I have not seen Battleship Potemkin or any Eisenstein stuff yet, but I hear nothing but great things about his work.
    The Great Train Robbery More famous for it's place in the progress of narrative filmmaking, including some parallel scene threads (not quite cross-cutting but in that direction). Still it is a pleasant little watch and something about that end scene with the cowboy shooting at the camera is just cool looking to me.
     

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