My favorite films of the 1920s

by abrandat | created - 11 Sep 2014 | updated - 11 Sep 2014 | Public
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1. 3 Bad Men (1926)

Unrated | 122 min | Romance, Western

Three outlaws come to the aid of a young girl after her father is killed.

Director: John Ford | Stars: George O'Brien, Olive Borden, Lou Tellegen, Tom Santschi

Votes: 923

2. 7th Heaven (1927)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Romance

A street cleaner saves a young woman's life, and the pair slowly fall in love until war intervenes.

Director: Frank Borzage | Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Ben Bard, Albert Gran

Votes: 2,832 | Gross: $1.32M

3. A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate (1923)

Passed | 82 min | Drama, Romance

A kept woman runs into her former fiancé and finds herself torn between love and comfort.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Edna Purviance, Clarence Geldart, Carl Miller, Lydia Knott

Votes: 4,390 | Gross: $0.39M

4. Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924)

Not Rated | 111 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

A mysterious radio message is beamed around the world, and among the engineers who receive it are Los, the hero, and his colleague Spiridonov. Los is an individualist dreamer. Aelita is the... See full summary »

Director: Yakov Protazanov | Stars: Yuliya Solntseva, Igor Ilyinsky, Nikolai Tsereteli, Nikolay Batalov

Votes: 2,161

5. After Midnight (1927)

70 min | Drama

When Joe, a hold-up man, tries to rob Mary, a nightclub hostess, she winds winds up knocking him out. She takes pity on him, however, and nurses him back to health. He decides to go ... See full summary »

Director: Monta Bell | Stars: Norma Shearer, Lawrence Gray, Gwen Lee, Eddie Sturgis

Votes: 58 | Gross: $0.40M

6. Arsenal (1929)

Not Rated | 70 min | Drama, War

A soldier returns to Kiev after surviving a train crash and encounters clashes between nationalists and collectivists.

Director: Aleksandr Dovzhenko | Stars: Semyon Svashenko, Georgi Khorkov, Amvrosi Buchma, Dmitri Erdman

Votes: 1,562

7. Asphalt (1929)

90 min | Drama

Joe May's sensual drama of life in the Berlin underworld is in many ways the perfect summation of German filmmaking in the silent era: a dazzling visual style, a psychological approach to ... See full summary »

Director: Joe May | Stars: Albert Steinrück, Else Heller, Gustav Fröhlich, Betty Amann

Votes: 1,278

8. Help! (1924)

18 min | Short, Comedy, Horror

Max accepts a wager that he cannot remain in a haunted castle for one hour (11 PM to midnight) without crying for help. As soon as he arrives he encounters strange and nightmarish visions, ... See full summary »

Director: Abel Gance | Stars: Max Linder, Jean Toulout, Gina Palerme, Gaston Modot

Votes: 316

9. Ballet mécanique (1924)

19 min | Short

A pulsing, kaleidoscope of images set to an energetic soundtrack. A young women swings in a garden; a woman's face smiles. The rest is spinning cylinders, pistons, gears and turbines, ... See full summary »

Directors: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy | Stars: Kiki of Montparnasse, Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy, Katherine Murphy

Votes: 2,496

10. Battling Butler (1926)

Not Rated | 77 min | Comedy

A love-struck weakling must pretend to be boxer in order to gain respect from the family of the girl he loves.

Director: Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Snitz Edwards, Sally O'Neil, Walter James

Votes: 2,452 | Gross: $0.70M

11. Beggars of Life (1928)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Drama

After killing her treacherous step-father, a girl tries to escape the country with a young vagabond. She dresses as a boy, they hop freight trains, quarrel with a group of hobos, and steal ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Wallace Beery, Louise Brooks, Richard Arlen, Blue Washington

Votes: 857

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

Not Rated | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.

Directors: Fred Niblo, Charles Brabin, Christy Cabanne, J.J. Cohn, Rex Ingram | Stars: Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman, May McAvoy, Betty Bronson

Votes: 6,867 | Gross: $12.45M

13. Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)

Not Rated | 65 min | Documentary

This movie shows us one day in Berlin, the rhythm of that time, starting at the earliest morning and ends in the deepest night.

Director: Walter Ruttmann | Star: Paul von Hindenburg

Votes: 3,531

14. Big Business (1929)

19 min | Short, Comedy, Family

Ollie and Stanley are two Christmas Tree sales reps who get into one of their usual mutual destruction fights with a homeowner.

Directors: James W. Horne, Leo McCarey | Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Charlie Hall

Votes: 2,579

15. Blackmail (1929)

Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

After killing a man in self-defense, a young woman is blackmailed by a witness to the killing.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anny Ondra, John Longden, Sara Allgood, Charles Paton

Votes: 8,793

16. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History

In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barskiy, Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov

Votes: 48,770 | Gross: $0.05M

17. Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Not Rated | 68 min | Documentary, Music

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov | Star: Mikhail Kaufman

Votes: 20,126

18. City Girl (1930)

Passed | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A Chicago waitress falls in love with a Minnesota farmer, and decides to face a life in the country.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Charles Farrell, Mary Duncan, David Torrence, Edith Murgatroyd

Votes: 2,616

19. The Faithful Heart (1923)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, Romance

Marie wants to escape from her job and also from her lover, Paul, an unemployed drunk. She dreams of going off with Jean, a dockworker. The two men quarrel and fight over Marie on two ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Epstein | Stars: Léon Mathot, Gina Manès, Edmond Van Daële, Claude Benedict

Votes: 995

20. College (1927)

Not Rated | 66 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

To reconcile with his girlfriend, a bookish college student tries to become an athlete.

Directors: James W. Horne, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Anne Cornwall, Flora Bramley, Harold Goodwin

Votes: 4,003

22. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 50,808

23. Den starkaste (1929)

106 min | Drama

Skipper Larsen and his assistant Ole, are planning the season's seal and bear-hunting trip to Spetzbergen with the ship "Viking". Ole is interested in the daughter of the house, Ingeborg.

Directors: Axel Lindblom, Alf Sjöberg | Stars: Sivert Brækemo, Bengt Djurberg, Gösta Gustafson, Anders Henrikson

Votes: 29

24. The Burning Soil (1922)

98 min | Drama

When farmer Rog dies, his son Peter stays, but Johannes can not be satisfied with such a condition (and servant Maria's love) and finds a job as old Count Rudenberg's secretary. His ... See full summary »

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Werner Krauss, Eugen Klöpfer, Vladimir Gajdarov, Eduard von Winterstein

Votes: 530

25. The Golem (1920)

Unrated | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror

In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem - a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.

Directors: Carl Boese, Paul Wegener | Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch, Lyda Salmonova

Votes: 5,860

26. The Last Laugh (1924)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller, Emilie Kurz

Votes: 11,247 | Gross: $0.09M

27. Destiny (1921)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

When a woman's fiancé disappears, Death gives her three chances to save him from his fate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Bernhard Goetzke, Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Hans Sternberg

Votes: 4,634 | Gross: $0.01M

28. Moscow That Weeps and Laughs (1927)

Not Rated | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Natasha and her grandfather live in a cottage near Moscow, making hats for Madame Irène. Madame and her husband have told the housing committee that Natasha rents a room from them; this ... See full summary »

Director: Boris Barnet | Stars: Anna Sten, Vladimir Mikhaylov, Vladimir Fogel, Ivan Koval-Samborsky

Votes: 551

29. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)

Not Rated | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

A handsome prince rides a flying horse to faraway lands and embarks on magical adventures, which include befriending a witch, meeting Aladdin, battling demons and falling in love with a princess.

Directors: Lotte Reiniger, Carl Koch

Votes: 4,802

30. Pandora's Box (1929)

Not Rated | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer, Carl Goetz

Votes: 9,035 | Gross: $0.01M

31. Die Gezeichneten (1922)

105 min | Drama

Based on the 1918 novel 'Elsker hverandre' by Aage Madelung, the film follows various lives, one of which is Jewish girl Hanne Liebe, as she grows up, and experiences the pains of living as a Jew in Russia, leading to a revolution.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Adele Reuter-Eichberg, Vladimir Gajdarov, Polina Piekowskaja, Sylvia Torf

Votes: 323

32. The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Romance

In the Crimea, the Reds and the Whites aren't done fighting, and Jeanne discovers that the man she loves is a Bolshevik (when he kills her father). Penniless, she returns to Paris where she... See full summary »

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Édith Jéhanne, Uno Henning, Fritz Rasp, Brigitte Helm

Votes: 610

33. Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Paul Richter, Margarete Schön, Theodor Loos, Gertrud Arnold

Votes: 4,741

34. Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge (1924)

Not Rated | 129 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

After Siegfried's dead, Kriemhild marries Etzel, the King of the Huns. She gives birth to a child, and invites her brothers for a party. She tries to persuade Etzel and the other Huns, that... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Margarete Schön, Gertrud Arnold, Theodor Loos, Hans Carl Mueller

Votes: 3,604

35. The Spiders - Episode 1: The Golden Sea (1919)

Not Rated | 130 min | Adventure, Western

Kay Hoog finds a message that indicates that some Incas are still alive, but the secret organisation "Die Spinnen" wants the Incas' gold....

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Carl de Vogt, Ressel Orla, Georg John, Lil Dagover

Votes: 962

36. The Spiders - Episode 2: The Diamond Ship (1920)

104 min | Adventure

Kay Hoog wants to stop the organisation "Die Spinnen" to get a certain diamond, that will give the owning woman the crown of Asia, but the man, who should be the owner of that diamond, ... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Carl de Vogt, Ressel Orla, Georg John, Rudolf Lettinger

Votes: 701

37. The Street (1923)

74 min | Drama

Presents two distinct plot lines until the two eventually merge: the first is that of the bored middle-aged man seeking a departure from monotony in his life; the second is that of the ... See full summary »

Director: Karl Grune | Stars: Anton Edthofer, Aud Egede-Nissen, Leonhard Haskel, Lucie Höflich

Votes: 317

38. White Hell of Pitz Palu (1929)

75 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

A man climbs a 12,000-foot mountain to search for his wife, who was lost on their honeymoon. Another couple makes the dangerous climb with him.

Directors: Arnold Fanck, Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Gustav Diessl, Leni Riefenstahl, Ernst Petersen, Ernst Udet

Votes: 819

39. The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna (1929)

80 min | Drama

Nina Petrovna, the mistress of a wealthy Cossack, falls in love with a young cadet. Their happiness is short-lived.

Director: Hanns Schwarz | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Francis Lederer, Warwick Ward, Lya Jan

Votes: 202

40. Dom na Trubnoy (1928)

Not Rated | 64 min | Comedy

A girl Parasha Pitunova comes to Moscow from a deep province, eventually she arrives at a house. This is a story about the house and its inhabitants.

Director: Boris Barnet | Stars: Vera Maretskaya, Anel Sudakevich, Ada Vojtsik, Vladimir Fogel

Votes: 505

41. Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922)

Not Rated | 242 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker, Alfred Abel

Votes: 6,742

42. Master of the House (1925)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama

When a man becomes tyrannical towards his family, the women of the house decide to teach him a lesson in gratitude.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Johannes Meyer, Astrid Holm, Karin Nellemose, Mathilde Nielsen

Votes: 1,524

43. Dynamite (1929)

Passed | 129 min | Drama

Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees ... See full summary »

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Conrad Nagel, Kay Johnson, Charles Bickford, Julia Faye

Votes: 350

44. Egged On (1926)

24 min | Comedy, Short

Charley invents a machine that turns ordinary, breakable eggs into rubbery, unbreakable ones for transport. He builds a Rube Goldberg contraption of parts stolen from his neighbors. Rival ... See full summary »

Directors: Charles R. Bowers, Harold L. Muller, Ted Sears | Star: Charles R. Bowers

Votes: 248

45. Eldorado (1921)

100 min | Drama

Sibilla is a single mother, working as a gypsy dancer in a lousy cafe in the south of Spain. Unable to keep with the costs of his son's medical bills, she asks for help to Estiria, her ... See full summary »

Director: Marcel L'Herbier | Stars: Ève Francis, Jaque Catelain, Marcelle Pradot, Philippe Hériat

Votes: 334

46. The Hell Ship (1923)

86 min | Drama, Romance

Jan Steen is the owner of a ship that returns home and found her hife's ex-lover in the house. He forces Ann-Britt Steen, the wife, to go on board with him. Dick, the ex-lover, get a new job in a ship, Jan Steen's ship.

Director: Victor Sjöström | Stars: Jenny Hasselqvist, Matheson Lang, Victor Sjöström, Maria Di Zazzo

Votes: 71

47. Entr'acte (1924)

22 min | Short

An absolute dada movie. Somebody gets killed, his coffin gets out of control and after a chase it stops. The person gets out of it and let everybody who followed the coffin dissapear.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Jean Börlin, Inge Frïss, Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp

Votes: 3,180