Silent Films

"Our invention can be exploited for a certain time as a scientific curiosity, but apart from that, it has no commercial future whatsoever." - Auguste Lumiere, early film maker who, with his brother Louis, organized the first public performance of motion pictures in December 1895. A silent film is a film which has no accompanying soundtrack. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as the motion picture itself, but before the late 1920s, most films were silent. The years before sound came to the movies are known as the "silent era" among film scholars and historians. The art of motion pictures grew into full maturity before silent films were replaced by "talking pictures" or "talkies", and a number of film buffs believe the quality of the cinema actually decreased for a few years, before the new medium of sound was adapted to the movies. The glorious early days of cinema are represented here in this collection with many titles still acknowledged as classics of the cinema to this day. "Slapstick Comedy" found as a subhead of "Comedy" may also be worth a browse... Right: Scene from Fritz Lang's 1927 "Metropolis"

The Gold Rush (1925)

Director: Charlie Chaplin
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray

Considered by many to be Chaplin's finest comedy: Charlie is the gold prospector in the Yukon near starvation and treacherous villains. Many great sce... Read more

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Starring: Renee Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, Andre Berley, Maurice Schutz, Antonin Artaud

With it's stunning camerawork and striking compositions, Dreyer's film convinced the world that movies could be art. Renee Falconetti (in her only rol... Read more

Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Director: Sergei Eisenstein
Starring: Alexander Antonov, Vladimir Barsky

This landmark film was planned by the Soviet Central Committee to coincide with the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the unsuccessful 1905 Rus... Read more

Sunrise (1927)

Director: F W Murnau
Starring: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston

Aka "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans". This exquisite silent film is just as powerful today as when it was made, telling the simple story of a farmer wh... Read more

Nosferatu (1922)

Director: F W Murnau
Starring: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Greta Schroeder

Aka 'Nosferatu: A Symphony of Terror'. The first and the greatest (not to mention scariest) Dracula movie ever made starring Max Schreck as Nosferatu,... Read more

Metropolis (Reconstructed & Restored) (1927)

Director: Fritz Lang
Starring: Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Fritz Lang's masterwork, set in a towering city of the future whose populace is divided between the idle ruling class and the dehumanized workers who... Read more

Nanook of the North (1922)

Director: Robert Flaherty

Standing the test of time, this groundbreaking silent film detailing the harsh existence of an Eskimo tribe living on the shores of Canada's Hudson Ba... Read more

Charlie Chaplin Marathon (1916)

Director: Charlie Chaplin
Starring: Charlie Chaplin

This DVD compilation includes four early Chaplin films; 'The Rink' (1916), 'The Immigrant' (1917), 'The Vagabond' (1916) and 'Tillie's Punctured Roman... Read more

Pandora's Box (1929)

Director: G W Pabst
Starring: Franz Lederer, Fritz Kortner, Louise Brooks

A silent German masterpiece based on Wedekind's play, with an unforgettable Louise Brooks in her unforgettable haircut as Lulu, the innocent vamp whos... Read more

Napoleon (1927)

Director: Abel Gance
Starring: Albert Dieudonne

Abel Gance's original 1927 masterpiece is a must-see not only for silent film buffs, but for all interested in classic world cinema. You are taken fro... Read more