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List of Silent Movies

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Updated October 3, 2019 83 votes 8 voters 19.9k views 119 items

A list of the best silent films ever made, ranked by film fans' votes. This list is ordered by popularity, so only the greatest movies about Hercules are at the top of the list. If there are any great films you think we missed, please feel free to add them yourself. 

The films on this list are the most famous silent movies of all time, many of which are streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime, so use it to find some movies that you haven't seen already if you're a fan of the genre.


This list answers the questions, "What are the best silent films?" and contains items like A Woman of Paris and America.


Various bits of information are included with these popular silent movies, such as who directed them, when they were released and who starred in the films. So whether you're watching these movies on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, these are some good silent films to enjoy. And when you're done, check out our list of classic romance movies.

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1
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Conrad Veidt, Stuart Holmes, Mary Philbin

Released: 1928

Directed by: Paul Leni

The Man Who Laughs is a 1928 American silent film directed by the German Expressionist filmmaker Paul Leni. The film is an adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel of the same name and stars Mary ...more

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#5 of 25 The Best Horror Films from the Silent Era #79 of 115 The Best Old Horror Movies #34 of 38 The Best Movies About Royalty

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George Sanders, Merle Oberon, Cedric Hardwicke

Released: 1944

Directed by: John Brahm

The Lodger is a 1944 horror film about Jack the Ripper, based on the novel of the same name by Marie Belloc Lowndes. It stars Merle Oberon, George Sanders and Laird Cregar, features Sir Cedric ...more

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#806 of 852 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #195 of 280 The Best Whodunit Movies #15 of 42 All Alfred Hitchcock Cameos

3
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Alona Tal, Verne Troyer, Drake Bell

Released: 2008

Directed by: Deb Hagan

College is a 2008 comedy starring Drake Bell, Andrew Caldwell, and Kevin Covais and directed by first-time director Deb Hagan. It was released on August 29, 2008, by MGM.

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4
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Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford, Buddy Rogers

Released: 1927

Directed by: Sam Taylor

My Best Girl is a romantic comedy starring Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers, directed by Sam Taylor, and produced by Pickford. The movie is notable for co-starring Rogers, who would be Pickford's ...more
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Mary Pickford, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Lloyd Whitlock

Released: 1926

Directed by: William Beaudine, Tom McNamara

Sparrows is a 1926 American silent film about a young woman who rescues a baby from kidnappers. The film, which was originally titled Scraps, starred and was produced by Mary Pickford, who was ...more
6
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Charlie Chaplin, Adolphe Menjou, Edna Purviance

Released: 1923

Directed by: Charlie Chaplin

A Woman of Paris is a feature-length American silent film that debuted in 1923. The film, an atypical drama film for its creator, was written, directed, produced and later scored by Charlie ...more
7
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Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, Seth Green

Released: 1988

Directed by: Jim Abrahams

Big Business is a 1988 American comedy film farce starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. The movie revolves around two sets of identical female twins who were mismatched at birth, with one ...more

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#412 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #416 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #187 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

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Rudolph Valentino, Lila Lee, Nita Naldi

Released: 1922

Directed by: Fred Niblo, Dorothy Arzner

Blood and Sand is an American silent drama film produced by Paramount Pictures, directed by Fred Niblo and starring Rudolph Valentino, Lila Lee, and Nita Naldi. The film was based on the Spanish ...more
9
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Lillian Gish, Kid McCoy, Donald Crisp

Released: 1919

Directed by: D. W. Griffith

Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl is a 1919 American silent drama film directed by D.W. Griffith. It was distributed by United Artists and premiered on May 13, 1919. It stars ...more
10
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Lidia Quaranta, Bartolomeo Pagano, Dante Testa

Released: 1914

Directed by: Giovanni Pastrone

Cabiria is a 1914 Italian epic silent film, directed by Giovanni Pastrone and shot in Turin. The film is set in ancient Sicily, Carthage, and Cirta during the period of the Second Punic War. It ...more

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11
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Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow, Virginia Cherrill

Released: 1931

Directed by: Charlie Chaplin

City Lights is a 1931 American romantic comedy film written by, directed by, and starring Charlie Chaplin. The story follows the misadventures of Chaplin's Tramp as he falls in love with a blind ...more

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#261 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #452 of 1,211 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #28 of 102 The Best Movies Directed by the Star

12
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Alice Terry, Herschel Mayall, Howard Hickman

Released: 1916

Directed by: Reginald Barker, Thomas H. Ince, Raymond B. West

Civilization is a 1916 American pacifist allegorical drama film produced by Thomas H. Ince, written by C. Gardner Sullivan, and directed by Ince, Reginald Barker and Raymond B. West. The story ...more
13
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Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline, Joe Roberts

Released: 1922

Directed by: Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline

Cops is a 1922 comedy short silent film about a young man who accidentally gets on the bad side of the entire Los Angeles Police Department during a parade, and is chased all over town. It was ...more
14
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Released: 1924

Directed by: Fritz Lang

Die Nibelungen is a series of two silent fantasy films created by Austrian director Fritz Lang in 1924: Die Nibelungen: Siegfried and Die Nibelungen: Kriemhild's Revenge. The screenplays for ...more

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#582 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #253 of 589 The Best Fantasy Movies

15
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Clara Bow, Raymond McKee, Marguerite Courtot

Released: 1922

Directed by: Elmer Clifton

Down to the Sea in Ships is a 1922 American silent romantic drama film about a 19th-century Massachusetts whaling family. Directed by Elmer Clifton, the film stars William Walcott, Marguerite ...more
16
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John Barrymore, Edgard Varèse, Charles Lane

Released: 1920

Directed by: John S. Robertson

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1920 horror silent film, produced by Famous Players-Lasky and released through Paramount/Artcraft. The film is based upon Robert Louis Stevenson's novella The ...more
17
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Aamir Khan, Gulshan Grover, Shabana Azmi

Released: 1998

Directed by: Deepa Mehta

Earth is a 1998 Indian period drama film directed by Deepa Mehta. It is based upon Bapsi Sidhwa's novel, Cracking India,. Earth is the second installment of Mehta's Elements trilogy. It was ...more

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#201 of 236 The Best Bollywood Movies of All Time #177 of 404 The Best Movies Directed by Women #15 of 20 The Best Bollywood Movies of 1998

18
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William Dieterle, Emil Jannings, Yvette Guilbert

Released: 1926

Directed by: F. W. Murnau

Faust is a 1926 silent film produced by UFA, directed by F. W. Murnau, starring Gösta Ekman as Faust, Emil Jannings as Mephisto, Camilla Horn as Gretchen/Marguerite, Frida Richard as her ...more
19
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Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Frankie Darro

Released: 1926

Directed by: Clarence Brown

Flesh and the Devil is an MGM romantic drama silent film. It stars Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Lars Hanson, and Barbara Kent, directed by Clarence Brown, and based on the play The Undying Past by ...more
20
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Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston

Released: 1924

Directed by: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor

Girl Shy is a 1924 romantic comedy silent film starring Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston. The movie was written by Sam Taylor, Tim Whelan and Ted Wilde and was directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and
21
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ZaSu Pitts, Chester Conklin, Jack Curtis

Released: 1924

Directed by: Erich von Stroheim

Greed is a 1924 American silent film, written and directed by Erich von Stroheim and based on the 1899 Frank Norris novel McTeague. It stars Gibson Gowland as Dr. John McTeague, ZaSu Pitts as ...more
22
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Bela Lugosi, Norma Shearer, Lon Chaney

Released: 1924

Directed by: Victor Sjöström

He Who Gets Slapped is a 1924 American silent drama film starring Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, and John Gilbert, and directed by Victor Sjöström. The film is based on the Russian play ...more
23
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Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, Erich von Stroheim

Released: 1916

Directed by: D. W. Griffith

Intolerance is a 1916 epic silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and considered one of the great masterpieces of the Silent Era. The three-and-a-half hour epic intercuts four parallel ...more

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24
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Joseph Schildkraut, H.B. Warner, Ernest Torrence

Released: 1927

Directed by: Cecil B. DeMille

The King of Kings is a 1927 American silent epic film produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille. It depicts the last weeks of Jesus before his crucifixion and stars H. B. Warner in the lead ...more

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#257 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #85 of 115 The Best Movies with Christian Themes #9 of 96 Early Technicolor Films

25
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Musidora, Marcel Lévesque, Jean Ayme

Released: 1915

Directed by: Louis Feuillade

Les Vampires is a 1915–16 French silent crime serial film written and directed by Louis Feuillade. Set in Paris, it stars Édouard Mathé, Musidora and Marcel Lévesque. The ...more