Saturday, 18 August 2012

Ten Silent Films You Should See

"We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!" Norma Desmond states in  Sunset Blvd. Here's a look at ten of the best films you'll ever see, with or without sound.   
Intolerance (1916): A film that pioneer the concept of the term "epic". There are four stories: the fall of Babylon, The cruxifiction of Christ, the St. Bartholomew's day massacre and class struggle in the modern era. This film defined the term "a cast of thousands". Directed by D.W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish.

Nosferatu (1922): Still one of the scariest films ever made. Based on Bram Stoker's Dracula, This German film was directed by F.W. Murnau and starred Max Schreck as the vampire. A remake starring Klaus Kinski was released in 1979. Shadow Of The Vampire, released in 2000, is a fictional account of the making of Nosferatu with Willem Dafoe playing Max Schreck as an actual vampire.

Safety Last (1923): The film that comedian Harold Lloyd is most famous for. Small town boy goes to the big city to make good so he can marry his sweetheart.Safety Last contains the classic scene of Lloyd climbing up the side of a building.

The Thief Of Bagdad (1924): One of the films that best shows off actor Douglas Fairbanks athletic abilities. A romantic fantasy set in ancient Arabic times, this film has great sets and costumes and lots of high flying action. A British produced remake of this film was release in 1940, which also became a classic.

The Big Parade (1925): One of the silent era's biggest grossing films. John Gilbert stars as a rich boy who tries to prove his worth by joining the army to fight in World War I.

The Gold Rush (1925): Charlie Chaplin searches for gold in the Klondike. The most successful silent comedy ever made and Chaplin's personal favourite. This film contains the famous shoe eating scene.

The Phantom Of The Opera (1925): The best film version of the famous French novel. This is also one of Lon Chaney's greatest performances. Chaney, known as the man of 1,000 faces, created the look of the Phantom himself and gave Hollywood and Universal Studios one of it's most iconic characters.

The General (1926): Buster Keaton plays a conductor whose train and girlfriend are captured by spies.  The General was a box office failure when it was released but is now considered one of the greatest comedies ever made. There are many dangerous stunts in this film and Buster performed them all himself, no CGI, no stunt doubles.

Metropolis (1927): Before there was the Hunger Games there was Metropolis. Class struggle (a popular theme in silent films) between the workers and the wealthy elite is stirred up by a female looking robot. Directed by Fritz Lang, Metropolis inspired many other films including Star Wars and Blade Runner.

The Finishing Touch (1928): Laurel & Hardy attempt to build a house. This film was made back in a time when actors performed their own stunts, sometimes very painful looking, always very funny. Great movie if you love extreme slap stick.

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