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The History of Silent Films

Are you a true movie buff, think you know all there is to know about the movie industry? Then watching a silent film is the perfect adventure for you. Previously, silent films were so popular.  Each year there were silent film festivals held all around the world, some of them more popular than others and some more significant than others. So how do you know the history of silent film? Well, we have comprised the history of silent films for you to quench your thirst for knowledge on silent films.

In 1920’s there was at least one movie theatre in every town. People pass their weekend to go to these theatres and passed wonderful moments. At that time, going to the movies was a lot different than it is these days. Today we see a feature film and possibly a few previews. But in average we spend about two hours in a theatre to watch a movie.

At the middle of 19th century, silent movies are so popular to watch. It was a kind of movie where you don’t have any sound. Silent movies did not have any talking or music in them. As the movies were mute, silent movie projector live music was played in sync with the action on the screen, by pianos, organs, and other instruments to provide drama and excitement to these movies. Some silent films had live actors or narrators to give the excitement to the audience.

Most of the silent films were either dramas, epics, romances, comedies, or slapstick. Some of the greatest early silent films are The Ten Commandments (1923), Greed (1924), The Big Parade (1925), and The Crowd (1928). Among them, The Big Parade which was released in 1925 is the King Vidor’s war drama. There were some noteworthy films from the silent years which are the visual comedies from the Mack Sennett Keystone Kops series.

Going to the movies was a genuinely big event for people, who knew that they were surely getting their money’s worth! And the most interesting thing of all is that these movies had no sound. Here are some noteworthy films you should watch:

  • La Presa di Roma, Filoteo Alberini, 1905
  • Ben-Hur, Sidney Olcott, 1907
  • From the Manager to the Cross, Sidney Olcott, 1912
  • Cabiria, Giovanne Pastrone, 1914
  • The Perils of Pauline, Louis J. Gasnier & Donald MacKenzie 1914
  • The Birth of a Nation, D. W. Griffith, 1915
  • Intolerance, D.W. Griffith, 1916
  • Cleopatra, J. Gordon Edwards, 1917
  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Marshall Neilan, 1917
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene, 1920
  • Nosferatu, F.W. Murnau, 1922
  • The Thief of Bagdad, Douglas Fairbanks, 1923
  • Sherlock, Jr., Buster Keaton, 1924
  • Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein, 1925
  • The Gold Rush, Charlie Chaplin, 1925
  • Safety Last, Harold Lloyd, 1925
  • Greed, Erich von Stroheim, 1925
  • The Phantom of the Opera, Lon Chaney, 1925
  • The Big Parade, King Vidor, 1925
  • The Lodger, Alfred Hitchcock, 1926
  • The General, Buster Keaton, 1927
  • Sunrise, F.W. Murnau, 1927
  • Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc, Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928
  • Pandora’s Box, GW Pabst, 1928