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The Best Silent Movies of All Time

Updated December 21, 2020 1.2k votes 34 voters 20.2k views120 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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  • City Lights1
    20
    1

    City Lights

    Charlie Chaplin, Jean Harlow

    Released1931

    Directed byCharlie Chaplin

    City Lights is a 1931 American romantic comedy film written by, directed by, and starring...  more
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    #222 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#472 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • The Man Who Laughs2
    21
    4

    The Man Who Laughs

    Conrad Veidt, Stuart Holmes

    Released1928

    Directed byPaul Leni

    The Man Who Laughs is a 1928 American silent film directed by the German Expressionist...  more
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  • Metropolis3
    24
    8

    Metropolis

    Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich

    Released1927

    Directed byFritz Lang

    Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist epic science fiction drama film directed by Fritz...  more
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    #63 of 178 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies#48 of 224 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

  • The Lodger4
    22
    7

    The Lodger

    George Sanders, Merle Oberon

    Released1944

    Directed byJohn Brahm

    The Lodger is a 1944 horror film about Jack the Ripper, based on the novel of the same name by...  more
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  • A Woman of Paris5
    22
    7

    A Woman of Paris

    Charlie Chaplin, Adolphe Menjou

    Released1923

    Directed byCharlie Chaplin

    A Woman of Paris is a feature-length American silent film that debuted in 1923. The film, an...  more
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  • College6
    21
    5

    College

    Alona Tal, Verne Troyer

    Released2008

    Directed byDeb Hagan

    College is a 2008 comedy starring Drake Bell, Andrew Caldwell, and Kevin Covais and directed...  more
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    #64 of 141 The Best College Movies Ever#7 of 10 The Least Successful Film Releases In Box Office History

  • Sparrows7
    20
    4

    Sparrows

    Mary Pickford, Gustav von Seyffertitz

    Released1926

    Directed byWilliam Beaudine, Tom McNamara

    Sparrows is a 1926 American silent film about a young woman who rescues a baby from...  more
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  • Blood and Sand8
    21
    7

    Blood and Sand

    Rudolph Valentino, Lila Lee

    Released1922

    Directed byFred Niblo, Dorothy Arzner

    Blood and Sand is an American silent drama film produced by Paramount Pictures, directed by...  more
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  • Nosferatu9
    20
    5

    Nosferatu

    Max Schreck, John Gottowt

    Released1922

    Directed byF. W. Murnau

    Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens is a 1922 German Expressionist horror film, directed by...  more
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    #653 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies#91 of 722 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • Big Business10
    19
    5

    Big Business

    Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin

    Released1988

    Directed byJim Abrahams

    Big Business is a 1988 American comedy film farce starring Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin. The...  more
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  • My Best Girl11
    18
    5

    My Best Girl

    Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford

    Released1927

    Directed bySam Taylor

    My Best Girl is a romantic comedy starring Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers, directed by Sam...  more
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  • Cops12
    14
    1

    Cops

    Buster Keaton, Edward F. Cline

    Released1922

    Directed byBuster Keaton, Edward F. Cline

    Cops is a 1922 comedy short silent film about a young man who accidentally gets on the bad...  more
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  • Die Nibelungen13
    Die Nibelungen is a series of two silent fantasy films created by Austrian director Fritz Lang...  more
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  • Brutna Blommor14
    19
    8

    Brutna Blommor

    Lillian Gish, Kid McCoy

    Released1919

    Directed byD. W. Griffith

    Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl is a 1919 American silent drama film directed...  more
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  • Cabiria15
    19
    8

    Cabiria

    Lidia Quaranta, Bartolomeo Pagano

    Released1914

    Directed byGiovanni Pastrone

    Cabiria is a 1914 Italian epic silent film, directed by Giovanni Pastrone and shot in Turin....  more
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    #524 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#268 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde16
    17
    5

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    John Barrymore, Edgard Varèse

    Released1920

    Directed byJohn S. Robertson

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1920 horror silent film, produced by Famous Players-Lasky and...  more
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  • Flesh and the Devil17
    14
    2

    Flesh and the Devil

    Greta Garbo, John Gilbert

    Released1926

    Directed byClarence Brown

    Flesh and the Devil is an MGM romantic drama silent film. It stars Greta Garbo, John Gilbert,...  more
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  • A Trip to the Moon18
    18
    8

    A Trip to the Moon

    Georges Méliès, Jehanne d'Alcy

    Released1902

    Directed byGeorges Méliès

    A Trip to the Moon is a 1902 French silent film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide...  more
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    #19 of 106 The Best French Movies That Are Absolute Masterpieces#25 of 51 The Greatest Classic Sci-Fi Movies

  • He Who Gets Slapped19
    11
    0

    He Who Gets Slapped

    Bela Lugosi, Norma Shearer

    Released1924

    Directed byVictor Sjöström

    He Who Gets Slapped is a 1924 American silent drama film starring Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer,...  more
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  • Intolerance20
    11
    0

    Intolerance

    Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks

    Released1916

    Directed byD. W. Griffith

    Intolerance is a 1916 epic silent film directed by D. W. Griffith and considered one of the...  more
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  • Girl Shy21
    12
    2

    Girl Shy

    Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston

    Released1924

    Directed byFred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor

    Girl Shy is a 1924 romantic comedy silent film starring Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston. The...  more
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  • Greed22
    12
    2

    Greed

    ZaSu Pitts, Chester Conklin

    Released1924

    Directed byErich von Stroheim

    Greed is a 1924 American silent film, written and directed by Erich von Stroheim and based on...  more
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  • Civilization23
    11
    1

    Civilization

    Alice Terry, Herschel Mayall

    Released1916

    Directed byReginald Barker, Thomas H. Ince, Raymond B. West

    Civilization is a 1916 American pacifist allegorical drama film produced by Thomas H. Ince,...  more
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  • Down to the Sea in Ships24
    15
    7

    Down to the Sea in Ships

    Clara Bow, Raymond McKee

    Released1922

    Directed byElmer Clifton

    Down to the Sea in Ships is a 1922 American silent romantic drama film about a 19th-century...  more
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  • The King of Kings25
    10
    0

    The King of Kings

    Joseph Schildkraut, H.B. Warner

    Released1927

    Directed byCecil B. DeMille

    The King of Kings is a 1927 American silent epic film produced and directed by Cecil B....  more
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