1902-1929: Movies Sorted By Tier

  • Great
  • The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari (1919)
  • The Circus (1928)
  • **Charlie Chaplin has always been my favourite silent film star with a particular fondness for his “tramp” character. His bungling mischievousness and bashful kindness make this character eminently likeable and in conjunction with his episodic direction downright loveable. The Circus is Chaplin at his most escapist and entertaining with “the tramp” fluking into a prominent position with a travelling circus on the skids and falling in love with a beautiful but misused high-flier. How he manages this is detailed in the hilarious opening scene where our tramp is mistaken for a pickpocket and while running from the police he enters a circus tent and unknowingly reinvigorates their show, sight gags and sly physical humour abounding. Once in he must learn the tricks of the trade, which he manages to spoil with amazing aplomb while reeking havoc on all those around him. Broken up into a series of skits and trimmed of excess story the film has great urgency and rushes by in a dazzling 76 minutes. This is the brashest humour in Chaplin’s pantheon and deserves a place among The Kid, The Gold Rush & City Lights as classics of the silent era. The Circus is a lost gem that deserves rediscovery.
  • Don Juan (1926)
  • The General (1927)
  • The Gold Rush (1925)
  • The Kid (1921)
  • ** Chaplin creates a comedy-drama full of bittersweet laughs about a young orphaned boy and his protector, “a tramp”. It’s an unkempt Chaplin treasure is a classic tear-jerker worth every bit of it’s praise. The Kid creates a series of scenes that abound with humor while being wholly affecting. The relationship between these two characters is flawlessly created and utterly convincing, as if Chaplin had uncovered a secret formula for transferring emotion through the screen and into the viewer. These characters, in 42 minutes, gain your admiration until you’re pulling for them in every scene. This was Charlie’s talent and this is one of his finest films. The fact that it also contains a vibrant dream sequence that’s among the best pieces of pure cinema ever made just reinforces the film’s allure. Do yourself a favor and rent The Kid as soon as possible.
  • The Mark Of Zorro (1920)
  • Metropolis (1926)
  • Nanook Of The North (1922)
  • Nosferatu (1922)
  • The Passion Of Joan Of Arc (1929)
  • The Phantom Of The Opera (1925)
  • Safety Last (1923)
  • Storm Over Asia (1928)
  • **”A cinematic poem” says one critic about this supposedly magnificent silent film that should blow your head apart like that guy in Scanners, “pop”. The film sets a strange course entailing the history of Mongolia via a young fir-trader/descendent of Jengis Khan as travails turn him into a spitfire. The early scenes are beautifully lyrical shots of their small hovel and create an auspicious beginning then slowly loses momentum as the story lurks on the horizon and our character is captured and escapes several times. The “cinematic poem” quote is a bunch of horse manure; the film is an outrageous freewheeling adventure involving the history of the Mongol people and their white enslavers. The brilliance comes from the purely cultural moments that speckle the film and give us an interesting view of Mongolia’s people and customs complete with a Lama and martial arts. Basically an excellent film, there are several problems; the middle is really boring and drags along between two exciting and affecting halves and there’s some really silly stuff happening every once in a while played for the theatrics but getting the snickers. However, the overall power of the film cannot be denied, incredibly original story telling marks several scenes and the visuals are so extraordinary they could have been shot recently. By the time I’d waded through these haughty 2 hours I found a great deal of affection for Storm Over Asia and thought fondly upon the many absurd moments with respect for such panache. Vsevolod Pudovkin deserves most of the credit for his virile direction shared with his enigmatic star Valeri Inkijinov for their sometimes silly, awe inspiring humanist epic. That's a two-thirds "pop", in case you're interested.
  • Sunnyside (1923)
  • Le Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)
  • Very Good
  • Blackmail (1929)
  • The Great Train Robbery (1903)
  • The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1923)
  • The Idle Class (1921)
  • Intolerance (1916)
  • Mother (1927)
  • Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)
  • The Thief Of Bagdad (1924)
  • Woman Of Paris (1923)
  • Good
  • Ben-Hur (1926)
  • The Birth Of A Nation (1915)
  • The Kid Brother (1927)
  • Guilty Pleasures
  • Average
  • In The Land Of The War Canoes (1914)
  • The Jazz Singer (1927)
  • The Sheik (1921)
  • Wings (1927)
  • Dreck
  • Othello (1922)
  • The Virginian (1914)
  • The Big Stink
  • Unfortunately Haven’t Seen
  • Battleship Potemkin (seen edited version) (1925)
  • The Big Parade (1925)
  • The Black Pirate (1926)
  • Blind Husbands (1919)
  • The Broadway Melody (1929)
  • Broken Blossoms (1919)
  • Bulldog Drummond (1929)
  • The Cameraman (1928)
  • The Cat And The Canary (1927)
  • Chang (1927)
  • Conquest Of The North Pole (1912)
  • The Covered Wagon (1923)
  • The Crowd (1928)
  • Diary Of A Lost Girl (1929)
  • Disraeli (1929)
  • The End Of St. Petersburg (1927)
  • The Fall Of The House Of Usher
  • Faust (1926)
  • Flesh And The Devil (1928)
  • Foolish Wives (1922)
  • For Heaven’s Sake (1926)
  • The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse (1921)
  • The Freshman (1925)
  • The Golem (1920)
  • Go West (1925)
  • Greed (1924)
  • Hallelujah (1929)
  • Hearts Of The World (1918)
  • The Iron Horse (1924)
  • The Iron Mask (1929)
  • It (1927)
  • An Italian Straw Hat (1927)
  • Joyless Street (1925)
  • Kriemhild’s Revenge (1924)
  • The King Of Kings (1927)
  • The Last Laugh (1924)
  • The Little American (1917)
  • The Little Match Girl (1928)
  • The Lodger (1926)
  • The Lost Batallion (1919)
  • The Lost World (1925)
  • Male And Female (1919)
  • The Man Who Laughs (1928)
  • Napoleon (1927)
  • The Navigator (1924)
  • October (1928)
  • One Week (short, 192?) *Suggested by Lukeprog
  • Orphans Of The Storm (1921)
  • Our Hospitality (1923)
  • Pandora’s Box (1928)
  • Queen Kelly (1929)
  • Riders Of The Purple Sage (1925)
  • Sadie Thompson (1928)
  • The Scarlet Letter (1926)
  • Seven Chances (1925)
  • Sherlock Jr. (1924)
  • Show People (1928)
  • Siegfried (1924)
  • Simba (1928)
  • Son Of The Shiek (1926)
  • Sparrows (1926)
  • Speedy (1928)
  • Storm Over Asia (1928)
  • Strike (1924)
  • The Strong Man (1926)
  • The Studen Prince Of Old Heidelberg (1927)
  • Sunrise (1927)
  • A Tale Of Two Cities (1917)
  • Tempest (1928)
  • The Ten Commandments (1923)
  • Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914)
  • Tol’able David (1921)
  • True Heart Susie (1919)
  • The Unholy Three (1925)
  • The Unknown (1927)
  • Variety (1926)
  • The Virginian (1929)
  • Way Down East (1920)
  • The Wedding March (1928)
  • What Price Glory? (1926)
  • Why Worry? (1923)
  • The Wind (1928)
  • Withcraft Through The Ages (1922)


((:?))) <---doing the shimmy stook



Wow! I'm impressed that you've seen so many of these. I'd be ashamed to admit how many I haven't.

I actually didn't think I'd seen very many silents, still so many to go. There's a connundrum to silent films though, if they're not great they can be intensly boring, so it's like a crap-shoot.



You MUST see Buster Keaton's short: One Week. It's better than Sherlock, Jr. IMHO.

I'll work on it but I can't promise anything about pre 30's films until my satellite returns to it's rightful place.



No more excuses.

It's in the public domain, if you're concerned about its legality.

Would you care to discuss Intolerance? You thought it was GREAT and I thought it was pretty bad.

Griffith's talent simply didn't live up to his ambition in this case. The epic scope (even compared to Birth of a Nation) and experimental storytelling approach are admirable aspirations, but it simly doesn't work. At all.

Of the four stories, only two get any screen time, and the other two are left so woefully underdeveloped that I'm dumfounded they weren't completely cut from the movie. A complete waste of the time they consumed.

My other MAJOR MAJOR complaint is that the film doesn't seem to make a point. Which isn't always a bad thing, but this movie was so obviously TRYING to make a point - it just didn't. Sure, it shows off lots of situations of injustice throughout history, but it certainly wasn't anything new, shocking, or memorable. It's a bit how I feel about Moore's upcoming documentary about the evil of HMOs - ummm.... duh? Does anyone NOT think HMOs suck? Does anyone NOT think there hasn't been injustice throughout all of history?

Basically, I felt like Griffith was just showing us that there had been injustice throughout history, and didn't really have anything else to say about it, except that it was... injust. What's the point? I didn't see any.

And yes, I know it's 'Intolerance,' I just think 'injustice' is a better word for what was presented in the film.

BTW, anyone else who's seen the film and wants to chime in, please do!

Answer and possiible start to discussion coming on Thursday for various and assundry reasons.



thanks! I look forward to it.

Okay, I wrote a really long answer and internet explorer malfunctioned because of Adobe. ARRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Damn you Adobe.

Let's start again.

I watched Intolerance again yesterday and was struck by some minor irritations that were pointed out by your remarks. 1) One of the stories are remarkably small and feeble. The strange thing is, it's the story of Christ's crucifixion. Censor's maybe? Or even self-censorship? Anyway, I cannot agree that the story of the Medici slaying of Huguenots is excellent in it's concise story-telling. Just enough story is threaded together to convey the harshness of the action while understating the sickening intolerance of that moment in history.

So I'll make a list:

Camera-Work: The crane-shots were very well done and ground-breaking in their day. The close-ups are simply fabulous, some of the best I've seen. Emotional and incredible in their intensity. The framing of crowd shots, action and movement are outstanding for 1916. The action is completely coherent visually, a hard task even today.

Sets: A phenomenal set of babylon, probably one of the largest ever sets this film apart. The incredible effect that set has on the film can't be overestimated, it's a powerful, and realistic visual symbol.

Direction: Griffith has a strong style of film-making. Foward moving, full of larger-than-life performances and created with a subtlety to detail. He connects the stories together in such a way that their arcs seem to follow one another from a jovial, lively start to a gloomy finale. A fine use of pacing to allow the stories to be intercut without seeming like their jostling with one-another. It's truly an epic film, huge in length, proportion and emotion. Everything is grand and everything is meant to be. The quickness of the editing towards the end is a brilliant touch that cranks up the tension.

Okay, the story goes that Griffith got flack for "Birth Of A Nation" as a racist epic, which he said wasn't meant to be. Kind of a jovial manifestation of the greatness of the KKK. So Intolerance is an opposite, a movie inditing the very values "Birth" (unknowingly) dignifies. Anyway.

Overall the film is a powerful film, with a listing first hour and a emotionally intense second half that explodes with energy.

Intolerance is given this meaning by dictionary.com: The quality of being intolerant; refusal to allow to others the enjoyment of their opinions, chosen modes of worship, and the like; want of patience and forbearance; illiberality; bigotry; as, intolerance shown toward a religious sect.
. I think the movie hits it's target pretty closely.

But above all else the film is a masterpiece of technical virtuosity. A compendium of cinematic contrivances at their best. More tomorrow, gotta get up early.

I'm not finished yet...:?)



okay, I'll wait to respond until you're done :-)

Now where was I...

The Stories:
Modern Story - Probably the strongest emotional piece of the film. Because it was originally meant to be released as a movie itself (called Mother And The Law) it's story is linear and works very well even with the time delay. It has a dynamic performance by the female lead (Mae Marsh). Good use of blacks. It's a grand guignol triumph, heavy-handed and silly as well as exciting and emotionally effecting. I don't like the use of the "Cards" at the beginning but eventually the visuals are left to do most of the story-telling.
French Story: (to quote myself) "the story of the Medici slaying of Huguenots is excellent in it's concise story-telling. Just enough story is threaded together to convey the harshness of the action while understating the sickening intolerance of that moment in history." The film seems far more exposed in this story. It's probably the silliest of the 4, but manages a certain blood-thirstiness that keeps it entertaining.
Biblical story: Too little of it to have made an effect on me, you're right it probably should have been edited out.
Babylon Story: Definately the most entertaining of the 4. It's got big, broad performances and a blustering story-line. "Constance Talmadge" is excellent as the mountain girl, you can't take your eyes off her (sometimes for reasons that could be called "might over-acting") she flails about and snears hardily at her foes. It's hilarious. The exposure of the film is excellent. The action scenes are fabulous, people are still stealing from them today (Gladiator). They're relentless and amazingly grim for the time period (excellent decapitations). The story itself has the sense of opera to it, you can just imagine it being a musical in the sound era. Not as emotionally powerful as the first but a rip-roaring adventure with a (oddly) confident female lead. The easiest the admire today.

The problems with these stories generally tend to be naive moments of almost unbearable cheese and a tendency to rely on "cards for story-telling when the movie gets confusing. And the "Lillian Gish rocking the cradle sequences" which do very little for the film.

I think Intolerance makes up for it by being an incredibly inventive, maximist spectacle. A film that earns the term "Epic".

What I like is the fact that the message never succumbs to the entertainment. Griffith made an entertaining film of huge proportions around an original premise of making a message movie. I'm impressed by the free-wheeling excess and affected by the drama.

Okay, that's it.



For some reason I couldn't get into the emotion of the modern story. Both the French and Biblical stories seemed to me, too underdeveloped to be worthy of existing. I would've preferred if only the Babylon story was told.

I just believe that Intolerance can't make up for its weaknesses simply by being an 'inventine, maximist spectacle.'

I'll agree that the biblical story is weird, I think it only has probably 5-10 minutes of the film. But it is the story of christ, an actual event that carries a certain vestment of emotion in people. Meaning, most people have set emotions about the story and the less shown on screen the better the story works. hmmmmmm.

The French story is much the same, in history it's an exceptionally brutal moment. The slaying of about 100,000 (some historians estimate a million!) people in France in one day! You don't have to show much to get the point of Intolerance there. And I'm not sure that it's meant to be a main story, it's filler that acquiesces to the flow of the main 2. As such it's a directorially tidy way of giving another example of Intolerance (one that's probably closer to the meaning than the main two to boot) and keeping the main story focus elsewhere. I'll say that I felt emotional during the french story because I've got an understanding of the origin rather than it's fab film technique. But it has strong visuals that clearly point out the horror, gives you a good set of swishy villains (who in typical silent movie fashion swish about with skittish evil smiles, crooked hands and bugged-out eyes that dart about) and a half-hero/half-jellyfish king. Good, old-fashioned protagonist/antagonist coupling. He leaves a lot of the subtle story-telling to other stories which is a good choice.

The modern story that starts out jovial, silly and full of grand silly visuals of people waving arms and bugging their eyes turns darker (more blacks being used) making way for subtler acting with agonized, harsh movements. Marsh's face actually whithers as the story progresses, her bright complection vanishes (probably losing make-up) but also she bears her teeth more, as if in a grimace. The story becoming more represive and claustraphobic with her downfall. The sets become smaller, characters move faster and the editing becomes faster as people ally against her. Her character is falling under the weight of outside forces beyond her control (a story-line that always gets me) yet she clings to humanity and love. Dude it's downright operatic. <----cue stook boohooing

Babylon is very modern in it's story-telling and the easiest to admire. Yet among the stories it has the least to do with intolerance. It's about a lot of things, war, depravity, injustice, brutality and betrayal but intolerance is one of the least. Which is probably why it's so darn entertaining.

Any comments, we need someone else who's seen the film to put their comments in as well. And where are they? :?|



I'll agree that the Babylon story mostly works, but not that the smaller stories are justified in existing because... they don't need to exist... more... or something.

A brilliant mind deep inside me articulated that more effectively, but the monkey beside him translated it into English wrong.

I'm pretty sure I get what you're saying (maybe). But I need more heavy handed, swaggering, movie knowledge blow-hardedness (in a good way) thrown my way.

Let er rip.



Ton doesn't make it over the Internet too well without emoticons. Are you serious?



Sorry, man, I can't. I'd have to watch the film to give really specific examples for my points, and I'm not about to do that. I'll just reply en masse, on a very shallow level to everything you've said:

I have no problem with the Babylon story, the camerawork, the action scenes, the sets, and the ambition. I also thought the different color tones of the different stories was a nice touch, as was the increased tempo of cutting between the stories as the intensity increased near the end (in the modern and Babylon stories). The film is certainly a technical marvel, but this alone does not make a good movie.

I still feel that both the stories of Christ and Medici are so undeveloped that they should have been thrown out altogether. This major problem puts a serious damper on the film.

The titles are irritatingly preachy. I wish I had some samples of specific ones, but I remember several being overly burdensome for a film that already preaches constantly through the themes and situations of the movie.

And that's all I got, without watching it again. Sorry I can't deliver the swaggering over-analytical blow-hardedness you've requested. I guess I got more than I asked for when I wanted to discuss the film. But, you cheated by watching it just a couple days before we were to discuss it :-)

Just to add fuel to this fire, here is an extremely detailed summary of the movie that might remind you of some parts you disliked.

Lol, yes, I actually looked at that page but it didn't conjure up in my mind the scenes and the way they played the way I hoped it would.

Okay. I agree, "Babylon" is all-round the easiest to swallow. Yes "Christ" is underdeveloped compared to the other two main stories. I guess a case could be made for "Medici" being minor since it's only about 20 mins. long start to finish. It's got flair though (Swishy eye-balled queen, good slightly garrish massacre scenes).

I totally agree that the titles are preachy, mucho preachy, like earnest in an embarassing and zelous way. You shouldn't have to use an example, I would hope anyone would see that. The beginning of the film is certainly over-loaded with the word "intolerant" in far to many titles. And later in the first act clumsily written condemnations of characters come fast and numerous. But that levels off toward the middle, and is a problem in half the silent movies I watch.

I simply love the modern story, which seems to be the major difference, which makes 2 hours of the movie just sail by for me. It's silly and tragic and at times over-ripe. All the hallmarks of great silent-movie tragedies.

So here's how it breaks down for me. (I'm guessing with the times)

Babylon= 70 mins. - enjoy 70 mins.
Modern= 60 mins. - enjoy 55 mins. (after a slow start it gets a rollin')
Medici= 20 mins. - enjoy 10 mins.
Jerusalem=10 mins. - take it or leave it.

As you can see I enjoy quite a bit more of the film than you did. Yet I can agree with most of the criticism because the film has many rampant flaws. But I would compare it to another film that I would hasten to say you disliked as well, "Titanic". Both films are overly ambitious and stretch their simple stories almost to the breaking point. Yet, if you can deal with early silliness and some atrocious writing they pay off with spectacular second halves.

I however would make a point that cutting edge, complicated technique adds (to quote Tenacious D) "an extra layer of sauce" to any film, and particularly to fine films. The cutting is fabulous, merging four seperate stories into one piece, merged by pacing not by story. I felt in awe of this ability while watching the film. I've seen directors make this style of film and be hopelessly in over their heads. "Nashville" being one of the few films to actually achieve this effect. To totally discount the skill of the film-maker in film would make films callow and meaningless other than as reenactments of life. I feel you have to look at a film as a personal vision of a singular person, aided by other people to create it. And that vision, when done with such a magnificent reserve of talent is awe-inspiring. Imagine this film hadn't been edited and directed in the way it was: First you have 4 stories that would run concurrent to one another, they would probably be easier to take told in a linear fashion as well. You could take out most of the bluster because holding the viewers attention for 3 hours wouldn't be the task of one story anymore. The titles could be subdued as to suit a singular story-line and not to create flow through the whole. The story of Christ could be fleshed out because concerns of pacing wouldn't be as paramount. You'd have a very good, pretty standard, slightly boring film. The great person who saw these stories seperately and realize they could be turned into a blustering epic is astonishing. And the skill with which he did so is incredible not to mention revolutionary. Griffith took this material and interwove it until, the tension, suspence, comedy and drama were exactly right, everything in it's right place. It raised my esteem for the movie imeassurably just to watch such skill at play.

As a addict of film I try to accept films on their own standards (it doesn't always work but I try anyway). I should probably state that I enjoy silent films greatly, this style of story-telling appeals to me. I loved the first silent film I ever saw and I continue to enjoy them greatly.

I did cheat too, and enjoyed all three hours of it. I'd been waiting to re-watch and the excuse presented itself. :?)



I agree that its technical innovation and proficiency is a definite plus for the film, and the Babylon and Modern stories are often quite good. If the film had just a few other minor flaws, I could say I liked or loved the movie. But with such giant flaws as two entire sections that don't belong and consistently heavy-handed titles throughout the entire length of the movie, along with other minor flaws... I just can't forgive that much. It's innovation certainly paved the way for better films to come later, but it is only a footstool, not a pedestal.

And I think they're just minor flaws. Great closing line by the way. I guess the film comes down to one simple thing, can you forgive the 2 stories that aren't exactly great parts of the film. This is where we disagree. Interesting. Do you dislike Titanic as well?



It seems every Listologist but myself lists Le Voyage Dans La Lune as better than The Great Train Robbery. For some, this could be an overcompensation for its historical importance.

My theory, though, is that The Great Train Robbery is extremely watchable and 'mainstream' for its time (at a time when there was no 'mainstream'), while Le Voyage Dans La Lune is perhaps more daring and stylistic.

However, I have also noticed that the same people put King Kong in the highest-rated category for its year, which I would equate more to The Great Train Robbery because it is very modern-feeling and mainstream: a big, dumb action adventure with lots of spectacle and little plot.

I think The Great Train Robbery was easily more innovative than King Kong. The amazing thing about The Great Train Robbery is the way it compresses its narrative in a way that nearly ALL films do today, but NONE did at the time. It is a prime example of a simple story told with cinematic compression. Perhaps this seems unmasterful today because EVERY movie is like that now, but at the time this was a major breakthrough, and a kind of breakthrough that is a significant artistic one, not just a technical one.

Probably, my theory about other Listologists' thoughts is just plain incorrect, but please respond with your thoughts :-)

Ah, the debate of the two seminal shorts (ahem).
First, "The Great Train Robbery" is far greater in importance for film that "A Trip(Voyage) To The Moon" because of manly narrative structures not even contemplated to that point. Certainly more modern and is basically a better watch. Being twice the length it has more time to invest in characters. "Voyage" on the other hand has narrative simplicity, effective even with the short running time. The doctored sets and elaborate (if antiquated) costumes are charming.

I would say these two were on equal standing historically being that only a year seperates them.

My case for liking "Voyage" better is simple, incredible unfettered imagination. Melies seemed able to conjure images of witty and outrageous events without making them dulled by pretentions. He seems able to creat fascinating scenes and manipulate them into a coherent (and fun) story. I'm sure it has to do with nostalgia, since I saw quite a while ago.

Great Train Robbery always strikes me as an excitement film, it's all about the intercutting of the stories and creating tension. Basically a simple effective thriller with massive amounts of great film-making piled upon it.

It just doesn't have the sweet, wide-eyed optomism of it's predecessor. Voyage just has more heart...in my opinion anyway.

As for King Kong, I believe that it shares more in common with Voyage. Simply as a greatly entertaining spectacle film that seems to understand the inherent sillinessand even mocks itself from time to time. Sheer imagination.

I would like to hear AJ's opinion. Any chance we could lure AJ over here?



Okay, I can understand your viewpoint.

Isn't it weird that the same reason I enjoy "Intolerance" is the very reason "The Great Train Robbery" bugs me. I'm a complex guy. :?)

And to update, I'm contemplating moving Intolerance down to "very good" since the point you were making was a darn good one. 25 minutes of pointless movie is a hellovalot. There it's done. Lukeprog=1/stook=0

Also, I'll watch Birth Of A Nation again, for obvious reasons. Any thoughts on that one?

So I take it you enjoy "Train Robbery" more?



Oh, infinitely.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make sure he can open his mouth. Or something like that.

Anyway, I would be happy to comment, except I haven't seen either The Great Train Robbery or A Voyage to the Moon.


The Great Train Robbery is actually available for download over the web, along with several other notable shorts.

So glad you loved The Kid! Did you end up seeing this as a result of discussions elsewhere on Listology?

The discussions and your review did point in this direction, me being a Chaplin nut. I've known about it for years and finally got the chance as the local Blockbuster bought the millenium collection. :?)



Just Saw Nanook Of The North As part of my Media Course. loved it! the moment where he gets the ice to make the window is great!

I certainly wasn't suprised when the filmmakers admitted a lot of the movie was staged, although very great it has a certain authored quality, what's your opinion?


yeah i mean certain areas look like they are staged. but IMO that dosen't really matter. because i always think that when it comes to Documentaries, i like ones that do have a slightly different look, so the fact that some scenes may have been staged didn't bother me, didn't wreck the film. also the movie was funded by a Fur company and the moment when they go down to the dealer with all the fur i thought "wow, this may be the earliest footage of Product placement!". i really liked this movie alot and i'm glad because i have to write a 500 word essay on it! lol The moment where he is trying to catch that big seal hinding under the ice and he gets pulled by the seal and he keeps falling down, that though maybe staged was a good scene.

but i think my favourite scene in the whole thing was how when they were building the iglo (?),, it didn't cut, you saw them have to build it alll, you were with them the whole way. so yeah in all in all, moments may have been staged too make you see what the director wanted you too see.

Are there anyother Silent movies, the quality of Nanook that you would recommend?

Interesting take on the film, I also enjoyed it even though and maybe because of the staged material. As you pointed out the beautiful scene of a man being pulled down by a seal is obviously a set-up, since the camera is in way too good of a position, but it makes for great drama to intersperse the excellent documented material. Powerful stuff.

Other silents I would recommend?

I haven't seen enough silent films to do that question any justice, Storms Over Asia is probably a good choice. I would urge you to see Man Of Aran (1934) made by Flaherty as well, although not a silent film it comes close enough; I find it to be a finer film than Nanook. Another film would be Atanarjuat (2001) if you haven't already seen it, truly a wonderful film although it most certainly isn't a silent.


Which do you think are the best experimental films ever made? I'm expecting almost exclusively short films, but whatever you think.

Oscar Fischinger: Seelische Konstruktionen (Spiritual Constructions), 1927/ Kreise / Muratti

Norman McLaren: Lines Vertical/ Lines Horizontal (1960)/ Mosaic (1961)

are a few of my favorites, I tend to enjoy animation more that cinema verite.


So glad you answered! Thanks.

Hello to all. I was looking for a movie which has the style of Dr. Kaligari and Faust.
The script is, the guy signs contract with the devil in order to became a great violinist. It has illusions in his dreams from a girl which meet her in carnival. In the end shows that it plays violin while the devil has him as puppet with ropes. It wears a mask and reminds me the Phantom of the Opera. I don't know if i'm helping you.
The movie is silent and b/w and it has elements of german expressionism.
I desperately search to find the title for this movie and extra info. Please help me.

ps. sorry for my english