Entertainment

The Best 1920s Silent Movies

List Rules
Vote up your favorite silent films that were released in the 1920s.

If not for the greatest silent movies of the '20s, we wouldn't have the same cinematic knowledge and techniques that we do today. The 1920s saw an explosion of film making, with feature-length films taking precedence over short films, or “two-reelers.” Smaller film studios were incorporated into much larger enterprises, giving birth to the Studio System that would dominate Hollywood for the rest of the century.


What are the best ‘20s silent movies? This list includes some of the most classic, iconic films of all time. Megastars like Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin did some of their best work in this decade, starring in films such as
The General, The Gold Rush, and Sherlock Jr.

Foreign filmmakers also had a massive influence on film making in the 1920's. Many of the top ‘20s silent movies were helmed by foreign directors. German expressionist films like Nosferatu, directed by F.W. Murnau, showed American filmmakers the power of symbolism and lighting.


Also on this list, you’ll find
Un Chien Andalou, Luis Buñuel’s surrealist short film containing that infamous shot of an eyeball being sliced by a razor. Vote up the best silent films of the '20s, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.
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  • Metropolis
    1
    Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich
    • Released: 1927
    • Directed by: Fritz Lang
  • Nosferatu
    2
    Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim
    • Released: 1922
    • Directed by: F.W. Murnau
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  • The General
    3
    Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender
    • Released: 1926
    • Directed by: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton
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  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
    4
    Conrad Veidt, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski
    • Released: 1920
    • Directed by: Robert Wiene
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  • The Gold Rush
    5
    Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray
    • Released: 1925
    • Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
  • Sherlock, Jr.
    6
    Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Ward Crane
    • Released: 1924
    • Directed by: Buster Keaton
  • The Kid
    7
    Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, Edna Purviance
    • Released: 1921
    • Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
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  • Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
    8
    Janet Gaynor, Fletcher Henderson, George O'Brien
    • Released: 1927
    • Directed by: F. W. Murnau
  • The Man Who Laughs
    9
    Conrad Veidt, Stuart Holmes, Mary Philbin
    • Released: 1928
    • Directed by: Paul Leni
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc
    10
    Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley
    • Released: 1928
    • Directed by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
  • The Big Parade
    11
    John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth
    • Released: 1925
    • Directed by: King Vidor
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    12
    Lon Chaney, Patsy Ruth Miller, Ernest Torrence
    • Released: 1923
    • Directed by: Wallace Worsley
  • Pandora's Box
    13
    Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer
    • Released: 1929
    • Directed by: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
  • The Wind
    14
    Lillian Gish, Montagu Love, Edward Earle
    • Released: 1928
    • Directed by: Victor Sjöström
  • Safety Last!
    15
    Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Bill Strother
    • Released: 1923
    • Directed by: Fred Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
  • The Thief of Bagdad
    16
    Douglas Fairbanks, Snitz Edwards, Charles Belcher
    • Released: 1924
    • Directed by: Raoul Walsh
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  • Steamboat Bill Jr.
    17
    Buster Keaton, Ernest Torrence, Marion Byron
    • Released: 1928
    • Directed by: Charles Reisner, Buster Keaton
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  • The Last Laugh
    18
    Emil Jannings, Georg John, O. E. Hasse
    • Released: 1924
    • Directed by: F. W. Murnau
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  • Greed
    19
    Gibson Gowland, ZaSu Pitts, Jean Hersholt
    • Released: 1924
    • Directed by: Erich von Stroheim
  • The Phantom of the Opera
    20
    Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry
    • Released: 1925
    • Directed by: Rupert Julian
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  • The Cameraman
    22
    Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin
    • Released: 1928
    • Directed by: Edward Sedgwick
  • Dr. Mabuse the Gambler
    23
    Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Alfred Abel, Aud Egede Nissen
    • Released: 1922
    • Directed by: Fritz Lang
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    24
    John Barrymore, Martha Mansfield, Brandon Hurst
    • Released: 1920
    • Directed by: John S. Robertson
  • Seven Chances
    25
    Buster Keaton, T. Roy Barnes, Snitz Edwards
    • Released: 1925
    • Directed by: Buster Keaton
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